Rockhopper Exploration plc announced on Thursday a further drilling of four wells offshore the Falkland Islands. The first of them, 14/10-6, will be the third appraisal well on the Sea Lion feature where the discovery of oil at commercial rate has been confirmed.
The North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company said in an official release that “it has entered into a further assignment agreement to secure an additional well slot on the Ocean Guardian drilling rig. Rockhopper will shortly drill well 14/10-6, its third appraisal well on the Sea Lion feature, followed by an additional three wells in succession”.
Earlier this week CEO Sam Moody said that the company is already moving to obtain financing on a larger scale for the development of Sea Lion as well as considering options for extraction and storage of oil.
“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”, said CEO Moody adding that since it is a new basin the process is expected to take longer than in a mature region.
Rockhopper is also considering different options for the process of extracting the oil at Sea Lion which could involve an FPSO or TLP with a floating storage unit (FSU).
“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)” pointed out CEO Moody.
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 June 2011 and was the first oil to flow to surface in Falkland Islands waters.
The company is currently carrying out further drilling on Licence PL032 and 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.
Rockhopper holds a 100% 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.
In February 2010, the Ocean Guardian drilling rig, contracted by Desire Petroleum, arrived in Falkland waters to carry out a multi-well drilling campaign.