Rockhopper Exploration is looking at some form of floating platform as the likeliest option to produce its Sea Lion oil and gas discovery offshore the Falkland Islands. But the company wants to complete delineation of the field before progressing to the front-end engineering and design (FEED) stage, reports Offshore.
Chairman Dr Pierre Jungels said the first two appraisal wells, following last year’s discovery, both flow tested at commercial rates. The next well, 14/10-6, will be west of the discovery and, if successful, should bolster the low case scenario of 155 MMbbl recoverable.
As drilling progresses, each result influences the number and location of subsequent wells, but Rockhopper’s understanding of the field is improving and will be incorporated into static and dynamic reservoir models required for an updated competent person’s report and a development plan.
The company has appointed a full-time development manager who already has studied the logistical and engineering factors for an offshore development in this remote area.
CEO Sam Moody says the most likely scenario will involve an FPSO or TLP with a floating storage unit (FSU), although all options are still being considered. Once concept selection work and drilling are completed, the company will define the FEED and prepare the field development plan, which must be submitted to the Falkland Island government by April 2013 (three years from the spud date of the discovery well).
Engels adds that although Rockhopper has the funds to complete the Sea Lion field appraisal program, moving to development would require financing on a larger scale, via industry participants, reserve based lenders, and the equity market. This is a new basin and therefore expects the process to take longer than in a mature region, he points out.
Rockhopper also has participated in two recent seismic acquisition campaigns covering 4,261 sq km of the North Falkland basin, co-financed by Argos Resources and Desire Petroleum, and employing Polarcus’ Asima and Nadia acquisition vessels.
Around 1,266 sq km was over Rockhopper’s operated acreage and 1,455 sq km over its farm-in acreage. Of main interest are the data compiled within license PL032 over the southern extension of the Sea Lion discovery. Processing has been fast-tracked so that the data can be ready for interpretation this summer.
The remaining fully processed data should be available for interpretation by the end of September, and will shed new light over the northern extension of the Johnson contingent gas resources.