Rockhopper extends appraisal drilling campaign offshore North Falklands

Rockhopper Exploration has updated information on its latest appraisal well on the Sea Lion oil discovery in the North Falkland basin.

Offshore staff

SALISBURY, UK – Rockhopper Exploration has updated information on its latest appraisal well on the Sea Lion oil discovery in the North Falkland basin.

Rockhopper says the well proved a high-quality reservoir package and oil column. Wireline logs and formation testing indicate that 25 m (82 ft) of net pay were encountered in the SLMC.

The well appears to have de-risked areas of relatively lower amplitudes within the SLMC and suggests that the edges of the sand lobes are likely to be below seismic tuning thickness. However, further studies are needed to determine the extent of the SLMC SL20 lobe to the north of the well.

In addition, 1 m (3.3 ft) of net pay were encountered in a thin lower sand with a deeper oil water contact than the SLMC, as in wells 14/10-2 and 14/10-5.

Well 14/10-7 is the fifth well drilled on the Sea Lion Main Complex (SLMC), and is 3.3 km (2 mi) northwest of the 14/10-2 discovery well. It was drilled close to the northern edge of the fan system in an area of relatively lower seismic amplitudes and thinner reservoir.

After P&A’ing this latest well, the semisub Ocean Guardian will next drill well 14/10-N roughly 4.1 km (2.5 mi) south-southeast of 14/10-2, with the aim of investigating reservoir and hydrocarbon presence within the SLMC in an area of relatively low amplitudes. It will also serve as an exploration well on the Casper and Kermit oil prospects.

Rockhopper is working on a development of Sea Lion that assumes recoverable resources of 350 MMbbl, using a leased FPSO, and first oil in early 2016, with peak production of 120,000 b/d by 2018.

It anticipates development costs to first oil of around $2 billion.

The company expects to complete concept engineering studies early in 2012 and thereafter begin the FEED, which should be submitted to the Falkland Islands government during 1 Q 2013. By that point, the Company would expect to have awarded contracts to the FPSO provider and subsea contractor.

Rockhopper adds that with cash resources of $170 million, it is fully funded to complete the current well, and its two remaining drilling slots with the Ocean Guardian. It has yet to decide whether to take up additional options on the rig.

09/15/2011

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