Rockhopper Exploration which discovered oil offshore the Falkland Islands in 2010 at its Sea Lion prospect is planning a minimum of three exploration and appraisal wells on its North Falkland Basin acreage in 2014 including Sea Lion satellites Casper, Casper South, and Beverley.
In a corporate update presentation this week to the City in London, posted on its website, Rockhopper gave details of four potential exploration wells. They are Chatham G, S2, Zebedee and George 1. The Zebedee well would tag six exploration prospects while the George 1 well would appraise the Casper South and Beverley discoveries as well as tag four exploration prospects if selected for drilling.
Rockhopper is addressing its work timetable together with UK based Premier Oil with which it reached a farm-out deal involving a billion dollars.
Although the exploration prospects identified in the presentation are considered “drill-ready”, with drilling at least a year away, the final line-up of which wells will be drilled has not yet been confirmed. An invitation-to-tender for a drilling rig is in preparation, says Rockhopper.
With the high cost of mobilization of a rig to the Falklands it is also thought likely that the minimum three-well exploration and appraisal drilling phase will be slotted in just ahead of the Sea Lion development drilling phase.
The corporate update gave details of the Sea Lion floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) system which will operate in 450 meters deep water for tanker offloading when the first shipment of oil in the third quarter of 2017 climbing to 30.000 barrels per day in 2019.
Future work also includes the appraisal of existing satellites Casper, Casper South, and Beverley for tie-back to the Sea Lion FPSO.
Away from the North Falkland Basin, Rockhopper is, together with Premier Oil, reported to be looking at exploration opportunities offshore from South Africa, Namibia and South Mozambique.
This is because it targets a geological province that is continuation of the Cretaceous rifted eastern margin play of the opening of the South Atlantic. The Lower Cretaceous lacustrine/marine source potential is within a primary oil window offshore South Africa and Namibia.
In a quick corporate snapshot Rockhopper Exploration points out it has interests in 8 licences in the North Falkland Basin (NFB) which include 38% of the Sea Lion oil field (321 mmbbl gross) and 30% of adjacent discoveries (65 mmbbl gross).
First oil production anticipated for the third quarter of 2017 with output of over 30,000 b/d (net) expected to be achieved during 2019.
Among its top shareholders figure: Odey Asset Management, 8.1%; UBS Investment Bank, 6.2%; Ignis Investment Services, 5.1%; Royal London Asset Management, 5.0% and Credit Suisse, 5.0%.