Partners consider novel financing schemes for Sea Lion project offshore the Falklands

Offshore staff

LONDON - Rockhopper has updated its targets for Sea Lion, the first planned field development offshore the Falkland Islands.

This past November, the company and operator Premier Oil announced they would seek a phased, lower cost development solution.

In late 2014, pre-front end engineering (pre-FEED) started on the Sea Lion Phase 1a development, targeting roughly 160 MMbbl in the north east corner of license PL032 by means of a single subsea drill center and a leased FPSO.

Following discussions with FPSO and SURF contractors, the surface facilities plan was simplified and is now advanced. Rockhopper says the main project contractors will be selected ahead of the FEED getting under way, with contracts set to be awarded before year-end.

The FPSO will be financed by the FPSO provider and the partners are considering a similar leasing scheme for the subsea system to further lower pre-first oil capital costs.

Conceptual studies are also under way on potential development schemes for the remaining reserves in PL032 (Phase 1b), the satellite accumulations in the north of PL004 (Phase 2), and the Isobel/Elaine fan complex in the south of PL004 (Phase 3).

The partners continue to target a sanction decision in H2 2016. However, the project remains sensitive to the long term oil price.

After finishing work on the Humpback exploration well in the South Falklands basin, the semisubmersible Eirik Raude drill rig should return to the North Falkland basin this month to drill the Jayne East prospect in PL004c (Rockhopper 24%) and Chatham in PL032 (Rockhopper 40%).

This could be followed by further drilling at Isobel Deep, possibly in place of the planned Jayne East well.

Elsewhere, Rockhopper won a 40% interest in Croatia’s offshore block 9 early this year in partnership with operator Eni.

The block is in relatively shallow waters in the prolific northern Adriatic gas province. Rockhopper expects to sign a Production Sharing Contract with the Croatian Hydrocarbon Authority shortly.


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