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Falklands’ Argos acquires 3-D seismic data prepares to drill late 2011, early 2012

Tuesday, April 26th 2011 - 01:34 UTC
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Argos Resources Limited, the Falkland Islands based hydrocarbons exploration company, has reported that the company has completed the acquisition of 3-D seismic data over the entire area of its PL001 licence in the North Falkland Basin.

A total of 1,415 net square kilometres of 3-D seismic data has been acquired. This includes coverage over the entire licence area, a halo outside the licence boundaries and tie-ins to key wells. A high priority area from this total has been carved out and is being processed on a fast-track basis to be ready for interpretation and prospect mapping by July 2011. It is the company's objective to be ready to drill exploration wells in late 2011/2012 in order to have the option to use the ‘Ocean Guardian’ drilling rig currently operating in the area.

The company is also using the opportunity of having a seismic vessel under contract in the area to acquire additional 3-D seismic data in open acreage to the north of the licence to identify additional prospectivity in the northerly continuation of the Basin. This acquisition in open acreage has now commenced.

Commenting on this progress, Ian Thomson, chairman of Argos, said, ”We are delivering on the 3-D seismic acquisition plans announced on Dec. 30, 2010, and are pleased with the progress being made. Processing of the new 3-D data has commenced and early indications are that this is the best quality 3-D data that has been acquired in the basin to date. We are therefore encouraged that we will have excellent data for prospect mapping which we expect to undertake from July.

According to the company its principal asset is a 100% interest in Production Licence PL001, covering approximately 1,126km2 in the North Falkland Basin Based on the 2D seismic survey conducted in 1996, seven prospects and five leads have been identified by Argos in the Licence Area.

The combined potential of the seven prospects is estimated to be 747 million barrels of unrisked recoverable oil, in the most likely case, and up to 1.75 billion barrels in the upside case.

The Licence Area adjoins licence areas being explored by Rockhopper Exploration plc and Desire Petroleum plc, who are undertaking a new and extensive exploration drilling campaign in the North Falkland Basin.

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  • Marcos Alejandro

    Lure of Falklands still draws the drillers

    Published: April 22 2011 23:09 | Last updated: April 22 2011 23:09

    This week the outlook for the five British explorers operating offshore in the Falkland Islands took a turn for the worse when Desire Petroleum, the most prolific driller of the group, announced that its Ninky well was dry and would be abandoned.

    Desire said it had £22m in cash left – enough to cover rig and vessel demobilisation costs and its seismic programme but “insufficient to drill further wells”.

    The news raised fresh questions about prospects of companies drilling near the Falklands, and sent Desire shares into free fall, down nearly two-thirds to about 15p – a far cry from highs of more than 160p in October.

    Analysts played down the likelihood that Desire could raise capital to drill more wells. Canaccord Genuity noted: “A straightforward equity raise would prove difficult [and hugely dilutive], given the group’s disappointing exploration record, and a general waning of interest by equity markets towards the Falklands . . . [It’s] not quite game over for Desire just yet, [but] it’s not far off it.”

    Yet the promise of a “get-rich-quick” oil strike on the Falklands rollercoaster continued on Tuesday when Falkland Oil and Gas raised £32m by placing 45.7m new shares at 70p each to fund its own drilling programme early next year.

    Desire’s concessions are in the north of the Falkland Basin, but Falkland Oil and Gas is focused on the south and east.

    Alternating desolation and euphoria have caused tumult among share prices of British explorers focused on the area, which also include Borders & Southern, Argos Resources and Rockhopper Exploration – whose Sea Lion prospect last year provided the region’s sole viable strike.

    When oil majors such as Shell relinquished Falklands exploration licences at about the turn of the millennium, small explorers snapped them up, undeterred by extraction costs and geopolitical risks.

    Oil exploration is always a gam

    Apr 26th, 2011 - 03:53 am 0
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