Rockhopper begins drilling another exploration well in the North Falkland Basin

Source: Rockhopper Exploration

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH) spudded the 14/10-3 exploration well January 13, 2011, in the North Falkland Basin of South America.

Exploration well 14/10-3 is located 8 kilometers northwest of the Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well on License PL032, which Rockhopper operates and holds a 100% working interest in.

The well is located on the undrilled northern lobe of the Sea Lion fan system. The well will also penetrate the distal, downdip portion of the newly-identified and underlying S2 fan body which has been mapped over an area of 42 sq. km.

14/10-3 is situated outside of the Sea Lion Discovery Area. Total depth is planned to be ca. 3,000 metres. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 38 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

It is currently anticipated that, on completion of operations on 14/10-3, Rockhopper will drill 14/10-4, an appraisal well on the southern lobe of the Sea Lion fan system within the Discovery Area, before the rig is released.

Rockhopper was established in February 2004 with a strategy to invest in and carry out an offshore oil exploration programme to the north of the Falkland Islands. The Company floated on AIM in August 2005 and holds a 100 per cent. interest in four offshore production licences: PL023, PL024, PL032 and PL033 which cover approximately 3,800 sq. km. Rockhopper has also farmed in (7.5% working interest) to licences PL003 and PL004, which are operated by Desire Petroleum. These licences have been granted by the Falkland Islands government.

An extensive work programme has been carried out over a number of years on the licences operated by Rockhopper. This has included 2D and 3D Seismic and Controlled Source Electromagnetic Mapping (CSEM). In February 2010, the Ocean Guardian drilling rig arrived in Falkland waters to carry out a multi-well drilling campaign. Rockhopper drilled an exploration well on its Sea Lion prospect during April and May 2010, the result of which was the first oil discovery and Contingent Oil Resource in the North Falkland Basin. The Sea Lion discovery was successfully tested during September 2010 and was the first oil to flow to surface in Falkland Islands waters. Rockhopper has contracted seismic vessels MV Polarcus Asima and Nadia to carry out a 3D seismic survey, beginning December 2010, over areas of licences PL024, PL032 and PL033 which were not previously defined by 3D, as well as adjacent areas.

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