Rockhopper Exploration announced Monday the spudding of its last well of the current successful drilling round in Falkland Islands waters. The well 15/15-4 in the North Falkland basin is situated on Licence PL004b in which Rockhopper will earn a 60% interest following the drilling, with Desire Petroleum holding a 40% interest.
The well is designed to investigate reservoir presence and hydrocarbon charge towards the southernmost mapped limit of the Sea Lion field and is located approximately 12.1 km to the south west of the 14/10-2 discovery well and 6.3 km to the south of well 14/10-9.
The well is also an exploration well on the Beverley prospect.
Rockhopper intends to drill to target depth (“TD”) then subsequently sidetrack to core should significant hydrocarbon charged reservoir be encountered in either the Sea Lion Main Complex or Beverley.
Initial drilling and logging operations are expected to take approximately 20 days.
The 14/15-4 well will be the final well drilled by the Ocean Guardian rig under the Desire Petroleum contract during the current North Falkland Basin drilling campaign.
Following completion, the Ocean Guardian is set to work for Shell in the North Sea for two years at 263,000 dollars a day.
In February 2010, the Ocean Guardian drilling rig arrived in Falklands’ 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 June 2011 and was the first oil to flow to surface in Falkland Islands waters.
Rockhopper contracted seismic vessels MV Polarcus Asima and Nadia to carry out a 3D seismic survey over areas of licences PL024, PL032 and PL033 which were not previously defined by 3D, as well as adjacent areas.
The company established in February 2004 and floated on AIM in August 2005 and 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.
Although the ‘Ocean Guardian’ is leaving, during the first quarter of next year another rig, Leiv Eiriksson is scheduled to arrive to begin another round of drilling in Falklands waters.
The 59.000 tons Leiv Eiriksson is considered a state of the art rig and has been operating to the west of Greenland for Cairn Energy. In 2010 it was contracted by Petrobras to explore for oil in Turkey’s Black Sea.