Rockhopper confirms oil find off Falklands

Rockhopper Exploration has updated the analysis of its Sea Lion oil discovery in the offshore North Falkland basin.

Offshore staff

PORT STANLEY, Falkland Islands -- Rockhopper Exploration has updated the analysis of its Sea Lion oil discovery in the offshore North Falkland basin. According to independent consultants RPS Energy, the field could contain 242 MMbbl of recoverable oil, with significant upside potential.

Well 14/10-2 was drilled in April and May to a depth of 2,744 m (9,002 ft), and following completion of final logging, was suspended for future testing.

The well penetrated what is thought to be a regional seal between 2,250 and 2,374 m (7,382 and 7788 ft) subsea. Based on log analysis, well site evaluation of shows and samples, sidewall cores, and wireline formation testing, all sands encountered beneath the regional seal at this location appear to be charged with oil. No oil/water contacts were encountered.

The top oil sand in Sea Lion was encountered at 2,374 m (7,789 ft) subsea, and the base of the lowest oil sand at 2,591 m (8,500 ft) subsea. Rockhopper estimates the total vertical oil column at 217 m (712 ft), with total net pay of 53 m (174 ft) in seven identified pay zones, the thickest around 30 m (98 ft) gross.

Pressure data suggest there may be two separate oil columns, although this will have to be confirmed by the well test. The main Sea Lion fan has a net pay interval of 34.5 m (113 ft). Other underlying sands have total net pay of around 18 m (59 ft), some of which appears to be connected to a Sea Lion lower fan, which had been regarded as a primary prospect. The well also intersected a further 2 m (6.5 ft) of deeper pay.

Oil down to 2,591 m subsea is 116 m (380 ft) beneath the lowest mapped point of the entire Sea Lion fan, which has an aerial extent of over 45 sq km (17 sq mi). There are seismic indications of thicker reservoir compartments elsewhere in the fan.

Examination of side wall core samples suggests extensive oil staining and good reservoir characteristics. Logging data also indicate good-quality reservoir, with average porosity of 19% and good permeability.

Five samples of oil recovered from the well have been analyzed in a specialist laboratory, revealing crude varying between 26.4° and 29.2° API.

Rockhopper believes the well has opened a new play fairway in licences PL032 and PL033.
Managing Director Sam Moody said: “Rockhopper has now confirmed the first contingent oil resource in the Falklands.

“Our analysis of the data from the Sea Lion well suggests that there is significant potential upside on our acreage and our technical effort will now focus on integrating all of our new knowledge of the basin so we can understand and identify the best prospects for future drilling.

“The test of Sea Lion will be a key step on the road to proving commerciality. We believe that, with modern horizontal completions and water injection in sands of the quality encountered, recovery factors significantly above the 15% assumed in the P90 case could be achieved. Furthermore, our recently updated economic model indicates that a stand alone field of 60 MMbbl recoverable could be commercial at oil prices down to $50/bbl.”


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