Rockhopper brushes aside Falklands drilling setback

Rockhopper Exploration’s latest well in the offshore North Falkland basin was a dry hole.

Offshore staff

SALISBURY, UKRockhopper Exploration’s latest well in the offshore North Falkland basin was a dry hole.

Well 14/10-8, drilled by the semisub Ocean Guardian, was designed to investigate reservoir and hydrocarbon presence within the discovery known as the Sea Lion Main Complex (SLMC), in an area with relatively low amplitudes. It was also drilled as an exploration well on both the Casper and Kermit prospects.

The well encountered the Casper, SLMC and Kermit sands, with good- quality thick reservoir packages in all three targets. However, all the sands were water wet.

Rockhopper believes the well penetrated a relatively restricted area of the SLMC that appears to be separated from the rest of the complex by the fault to the north. The thickness of the reservoir reinforces its view that good-quality reservoir is present in other relatively low amplitude areas within the SLMC.

Following the previous two appraisal wells 14/10-6 and 14/10-7, the company and its technical consultants undertook a review which has led to it refining its methodology for the depth conversion of seismic data over Sea Lion.

This revised method proves an improved fit to all of the wells, it adds, and provided an accurate prediction from 14/10-8. It also brings an increase in gross rock volume above the oil-water contact within the SLMC.

Taking into account these results and those of the latest well, Rockhopper estimates Sea Lion’s in-place reserves in the range 844-1,428 MMbbl.

It also sees potential for 90 MMbbl in the Casper prospect west of the structural saddle.

The Ocean Guardian will next drill well 14/10-9, 5.9 km (3.7 mi) south west of the 14/10-2 discovery well. This will investigate reservoir presence and hydrocarbon charge within the SLMC toward the southern edge of the company’s acreage, and double as an exploration well on the eastern side of the Casper prospect.

10/11/2011

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