Noble lines up Rhea well following Falklands farm-in

Offshore staff

STANLEY, Falkland Islands – Noble Energy and Edison International have farmed into Argos Resources’ license PL001 in the offshore North Falkland basin.

Under the agreement, Noble becomes operator with a 75% interest, with the remaining 25% transferred to Edison.

The duo has committed to drill an exploration well on the Rhea prospect in the license area during the current campaign by the semisubmersible Eirik Raude, at no cost to Argos.

In return, Argos will retain an overriding royalty interest of 5% of gross revenues from all hydrocarbon discoveries that may be developed within the license, with no requirement to contribute to any future capex or opex incurred.

Additionally, Argos will receive reimbursement for certain costs related to maintenance of the license and the acquisition of seismic and other data.

Should Noble and Edison elect to surrender the license following the initial exploration well, Argos retains the right to re-assume its 100% working interest, subject to Falkland Islands government approvals.

Chairman Ian Thomson said Rhea is a potential 449-MMbbl recoverable resource, although Noble estimates its potential at 250 MMbbl-plus. Noble describes Rhea as a Cretaceous-aged stratigraphic trap prospect with multiple reservoir targets. Water depth at the probable drilling location is around 1,550 ft (472 m), and the target TD is 8,760 ft (2,670 m).

The US operator now expects its initial operated well in the current campaign to spud by early May, targeting the potential play-opening 250 to 650-MMbbl Cretaceous Humpback prospect in the South Falkland basin. This is one of numerous multiple stacked fan structures clustered together in the Fitzroy sub-basin that could collectively contain more than 1 Bbbl.

The Humpback well, in 4,170 ft (1,271 m) of water, has a targeted TD of 17,550 ft (5,349 m).  

Noble, FOGL, and Edison have, however, opted to defer their potential second well in the South Falkland basin, instead using their contracted slot with the Eirik Raude to drill a well in the North Falklands basin.

This should give them more time to fully assess the Humpback results, and to potentially take advantage of lower future drilling costs. They are also looking to complete their technical assessment of the Scharnhorst and Starfish prospects and to determine whether these should be drilled, based on what happens at Humpback.

Following this agreement, the revised drilling schedule is:

1. Zebedee: Discovery

2. Isobel Deep: In progress

3. Humpback: Estimated commencement in May

4. Jayne East:      

5. Chatham:      

6. Rhea:            


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