SALISBURY, UK – Rockhopper Exploration says it is one well away from completing appraisal of its Sea Lion field in the offshore North Falkland basin.
The program should be finished by the end of this current calendar year. At that point, the company will have drilled 10 wells in the basin and conducted two flow tests.
This work has lifted estimated in-place volumes to 1.297 Bbbl in the mid-case scenario. After the final well (14/15-4) has been drilled, a competent person’s report will be prepared for publication around end-March 2012.
Development engineering is proceeding as planned. Concept screening has been completed and concept engineering should also be finished around year-end. Rockhopper then expects to start the pre-selection process for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) early in 2012.
Financing discussions for the program have so far run smoothly, with a positive reception from potential lending banks. But to progress to the next stage Rockhopper needs to firm up volumes in place and then work up detailed development costs and timings toward first oil.
In connection, the company has set up a Sea Lion data room for viewing by possible partners and debt providers. Compilation and analysis of the field data continues as the current well is yet to be logged, but these results will be added to the data room when available.
Due to the areal extent of the field, Rockhopper’s preferred development option is an FPSO, rather than a TLP. Engineering is under way to optimize the field development plan and reduce uncertainty on costs, particularly those related to first oil.
Recent studies suggest Sea Lion will likely to be produced via 18 production wells spread across three drill centers, giving a plateau rate of 80-90,000 b/d. Any production from the adjacent Casper discovery, the various B sands and any future finds in the area could further lift the production rate.