Sea Lion partners lift oil production target

Offshore staff

LONDON – Rockhopper and operator Premier Oil plan to recover roughly 220 MMbbl of oil from Phase 1 of the Sea Lion development in the offshore North Falkland basin.

This is an increase from the previously targeted 160 Mbbl, and follows completion of the definition phase and identification of various measures to enhance the project’s economics.

Peak production should now reach 85,000 b/d (up from the previous 60,000 b/d), and the estimated field life is now 20 years.

The well count too has risen from 14 to 18, with 13 set to be drilled prior to first oil.

Despite the increased scope, pre-first oil capex remains at $1.8 billion, equivalent to $8/bbl. The partners expect to achieve further cost reductions in light of current market conditions.

SBM Offshore should take 15-18 months to complete front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the FPSO.

The partners have issued FEED contracts to Subsea 7 for SURF transport and installation, National Oilwell Varco for flexible pipes, and OneSubsea for the subsea production system.

The partners have submitted a draft field development plan to the Falkland Islands government and have also applied to extend the license for the Sea Lion discovery area in PL032. 

If they can achieve a project sanction in mid-2017, first oil could follow during 2020. 

At the same time, work continues on a broader development strategy for the entire North Falkland basin. A Phase 2 development should commercialize 300 MMbbl comprising the remaining resources in PL032 and the satellite discoveries in the north area of PL004.

Phase 3 will focus on development of the Isobel/Elaine fan complex in the south of PL004, one of two oil discoveries from last year’s drilling campaign offshore the Falklands.


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