By Dominic O’Connell, The Times- Head north from the Falkland Islands, across the South Atlantic waves where albatross wheels and whales sound, and you pass over what could be a big new oil province — a significant source of hydrocarbons controlled not by sheiks or oligarchs, but by the United Kingdom.
Rockhopper Exploration and Navitas Petroleum have reached an agreement by which the Israeli company becomes the operator of the promising Sea Lion project located north of the Falkland Islands. This lays the basis for a new technical and financing plan for a lower-cost development of the Sea Lion area.
Rockhopper Exploration presented on the last day of September its half-year interim report, which follows on the shock announcement from Harbour Energy that it will seek to exit the Sea Lion Project in the North Falkland Basin.
An article in World Oil by Laura Hurst refers to the term “stranded assets” and mentions the case of the Falkland Islands oil industry: the discovery a decade ago of as much as 1,7 billion barrels of crude offshore the British Overseas Territory, and rather than the next frontier, the project to extract energy risks being added to a list of what companies call “stranded assets” that could cost them huge sums to mothball.
Rockhopper Exploration has provided an update on its previously announced Heads of Terms with Navitas Petroleum LP to farm into the Sea Lion project in the North Falkland Basin.
Rockhopper Exploration is responding to market developments by reducing staffing levels and activity related to the Sea Lion development in the offshore North Falkland basin. The company plans to maintain a smaller team, mainly focused on regulatory, fiscal and financial issues, pending a recovery in the external macro-environment.
At peak oil production from the Falkland Islands offshore Sea Lion oil field, Premier Oil is hoping for 85,000 barrels of oil per day. Over 20 years they anticipate 255 million barrels of oil in a medium-case scenario.
Rockhopper Exploration PLC on Tuesday said it has signed a milestone farm-in deal at the Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands. Rockhopper shares were 30% higher in early trade in London at a price of 19.44 pence each. Premier was 13% higher at 114.62p.
The recent announcements by Rockhopper PLC and Premier Oil referred to the development of the Sea Lion project in the Falkland Islands, have triggered a reaction from the Argentine foreign ministry.
Premier Oil on Wednesday reduced its forecast for its 2019 operating costs to US$12 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) from US$ 13 and expects debt reduction to reach the upper end of its US$ 250-350 million target by year-end.