Further pre-development surveys for Falkland oil find

Offshore staff

LONDON – Rockhopper Exploration has completed two seabed surveys in the area of its proposed Sea Lion development in the offshore North Falkland basin.

The first was a geotechnical soils survey that revealed suction piles would be a suitable option for the FPSO moorings. This was followed by a post-drilling and pre-development environmental survey, compiling data including seabed box cores, water profiles, chlorophyll samples, as well as seabed video and photographs.

Work continues on the scope of the development. Rockhopper expects to drill 28-34 wells, comprising producers, water injectors, combination producer/injectors, and a gas disposal well. Under a leased FPSO scenario, it estimates cost to first oil of $2 billion.

The company is looking for a farm-in partner with proven operating experience. To this end, it opened a data room earlier this year. Some companies have responded, although Rockhopper acknowledges that the politically contentious nature of E&P in this area, given Argentina’s objections, has discouraged others.

Rockhopper’s best estimate of oil in place at the main Sea Lion field is 1.3 Bbbl, with further potential from the nearby operated oil discoveries Casper, Casper South, B15, and SL05; and the Beverley gas discovery, which also has low-risk oil potential downdip.

The remainder of licenses PL032 and PL004b contain further low-risk exploration potential, possibly more than 350 MMbbl recoverable net to Rockhopper. This includes eight undrilled prospects, with a total best estimate of 187 MMbbl, and additional prospectivity in the George fan.

The company plans further exploration on licence PL024 where it will interpret newly acquired 3D seismic data this year.

5/31/2012

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