Rockhopper draws up Falklands work targets

Offshore staff

PORT STANLEY, Falkland Islands -- Rockhopper Exploration is drawing up a new program for its interests offshore North Falkland basin.

This will include appraising the Sea Lion oil discovery, which recently underwent a successful flow test; acquiring more 3D seismic across the basin; and drilling further exploration and appraisal wells on its acreage. The company says it has identified several new promising targets.

Diamond Offshore Drilling (UK), which has supplied the semisub Ocean Guardian for all the wells drilled off the Falkland Islands this year, has proposed to Rockhopper a continuation of the drilling campaign under a new contract, comprising a possible three firm wells with five options.

However, this would depend on Rockhopper entering into an escrow account to provide funds sufficient to cover the day rate and other obligations, and also on the two parties agreeing contractual terms.

Rockhopper already has two letters of intent with a seismic contractor to acquire 3D seismic using two separate vessels. It aims to firm up the contracts to procure both vessels shortly: work would likely begin before the end of January. This would help the company’s analysis of the Sea Lion sandstone fans, and allow for more detailed and accurate mapping of exploration upside in the basin.

Following discussions with technical consultants, Rockhopper has concluded that a complex set of new data and interpretations will be needed to resolve the reservoir distribution issues with regard to Sea Lion’s multiple stacked fans, some of which have yet to be drilled.

Ideally, this work will take in the new 3D seismic, a full reprocessing of the current 3D data set, inversion of the resultant new data set, generation of an acoustic impedance volume, creation of calibrated AVO cubes, and depth migration of the entire new volume.

One of the goals will be to resolve the complex issue of reservoir distribution with the Sea Lion sequence and reduce uncertainty over oil in place estimates. Additional well data would improve the accuracy and reliability of the resultant report.

10/13/2010

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