Rockhopper Exploration which struck oil at its North Falkland basin Sea Lion exploratory well in May 2010 has received formal agreement from the Falkland Islands Government to the farm-out agreement reached with Premier Oil.
The Islands’ Executive Council approved changes to the Company's production licence interests held in the Falklands to permit the assignment of 60% of Rockhopper’s licenses to Premier Oil and the approval of Premier Oil to become the operator of the licenses.
In July 2012 Rockhopper announced that it had entered into a conditional farm-out agreement with Premier Oil plc, whereby Premier agreed to acquire 60% of Rockhopper's interests in its North Falkland Basin licences. Formal completion of the farm-out process is anticipated shortly.
The changes to Rockhopper production licence interests the assignment of 60% of Production Licences PL023, PL024, PL032 and PL033, and 60% of Rockhopper's interest in PL003 and PL004, to Premier Oil Exploration & Production Ltd; and the approval of Premier Oil Exploration & Production Ltd to become operator of Production Licences PL023, PL024, PL032, PL033 and area PL004b of Production Licence PL004, according to the official release.
Earlier this week Rockhopper revealed to the Falklands’ community the socio economic impact study carried out by Plexus Energy on the possible impacts of the Sea Lion development.
Rockhopper has carried out an extensive work program over a number of years on its North Falkland basin including 2D and 3D seismic and controlled source electromagnetic mapping.
In February 2010 the Ocean Guardian drilling rig arrived in Falkland’ waters to carry out a multi-well drilling campaign and Rockhopper drilled an exploration well on Sea Lion during April and May 2010, the result of which was the first oil discovery and Contingent 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's drilling campaign lasted from 16 April 2010 to 8 January 2012 and resulted in seven successful wells of the ten drilled, with three oil discoveries, three gas discoveries, multiple successful Sea Lion appraisal wells and a successful appraisal well on Casper.