Falklands well points to commercial discovery

Offshore staff

LONDON – Rockhopper Exploration has issued a glowing update on its Sea Lion appraisal program in the North Falkland basin.

Over a 48-hr period, the 14/10-5 well flowed at a stabilized rate of 5,508 b/d of oil and 940 MMcf/d of gas with a flowing well head pressure (WHP) of 783 psi on a 48/64-in. choke. The gas/oil ratio (GOR) was 170 cf/bbl over this period.

The well flowed through a separator under artificial lift, using a downhole electric submersible pump (ESP), with a flowing wellhead temperature of 62ºC (143ºF).

This temperature is higher than was recorded during test of well 14/10-2, underlining the effectiveness of the vacuum insulated tubing (VIT) employed. No wax inhibitors or pour point suppressants were needed, and no water or H2S were produced during the test.

Ocean Guardian then initiated a second main flow during which achieved a final maximum rate of 9,036 b/d over a 2-hr period with a flowing WHP of 625 psi on a fixed 1-in. choke; GOR was 153 cf/bbl. The well was then shut in for a final build up and injectivity tests.

Rockhopper plans to analyze downhole pressures recorded during the testing and collected surface and downhole crude oil samples.

The company also commissioned downhole mini DSTs on two of the three sands comprising the 14 m (46 ft) of net pay encountered in the well, forming part of the lower fan. These two sands had net pay of 8 m and 4.5 m (26 ft and 14.7 ft).

Interpretation of the DSTs suggests that these two sands could have contributed an additional 800 b/d flow, using the same flow test techniques performed on upper fan in well 14/10-5.

Rockhopper believes these flow rates indicate that Sea Lion is commercial, but further appraisal drilling will follow over the next few months to define the structure’s extent.

Ocean Guardian will next drill a third appraisal well 14/10-6, 4.5 km (2.8 mi) to the west.


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