Desire pursues oil in Rachel off Falklands

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Desire Petroleum is set to resume exploration drilling shortly in the North Falklands basin with a well on the Rachel prospect.

Drilling should start late this month or early in October, after the semisub Ocean Guardian has finished its current flow test for Rockhopper Exploration on the Sea Lion oil discovery. The Rachel program could be the first of up to four back-to-back wells for Desire.

According to the company, the Sea Lion well demonstrated that oil has been trapped in potentially large quantities in a good-quality reservoir. The oil is in a fan sandstone, one of numerous fan sandstones on the eastern flank of the North Falklands basin.

The company points out those oil fields rarely occur in isolation, which could point to further oil finds on the east flank fan play fairway in this play type, over 50% of which is on Desire’s acreage.

Since the Sea Lion discovery, Desire has focused on identifying similar prospects for early drilling. Aside from Rachel, these include the Anna, Ninky, and Elaine structures.

Geoscience work also continues to evaluate other drilling candidates in this play type on the eastern flank. But Desire points out that the full nature of these fan plays can only be identified on 3D data, and the company currently has 3D seismic coverage over only half the relevant acreage. So it is looking to acquire further 3D data, possibly with other operators in the basin in order to limit the costs.

Desire’s own Liz dry gas/gas condensate discoveries are in reservoirs of uncertain lithology. The company continues with studies to improve interpretation. The trapping mechanism for both finds is uncertain. Both are stratigraphic traps, which need further work to analyze, so further appraisal drilling in this area will wait.

Although Desire envisages up to four back-to-back wells in its current campaign, that could change if the company opts to sidetrack or test one or more of the wells. Also, partner Arcadia Petroleum is finalizing its own drilling program, which could include two wells.

Desire will most likely drill the Dawn/Jacinta prospect after the Rachel well. Despite the disappointing outcome of Rockopper’s recent failure on Ernest, Desire says it is hopeful of success in Dawn/Jacinta. Dawn is a potential Jurassic horst block structure with net unrisked mean recoverable resources of 124 MMbbl. Jacinta is an Aptian stratigraphic prospect overlying the Dawn target, with net unrisked mean recoverable potential of 797 MMbbl.


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