The company acquired 1,579 sq km (609 sq mi) of 3D seismic data in 2011 over the license and parts of the adjacent open acreage. An independent competent persons report (CPR) later that year estimated potential recoverable resource of 2.1 Bbbl of oil from the 28 identified prospects.
Final processed versions of the 3D data in January 2012 indicated greater prospectivity and a new CPR last July outlined 52 prospects with combined potential resources of 3.1 Bbbl.
Of these, 36 are Lower Cretaceous post-rift structures in similar stratigraphic settings to the Premier-operatedSea Lion oil field, while 10 more are in the deeper Lower Cretaceous syn-rift stratigraphic section, and six are structural closures.
Some of the stratigraphic prospects are vertically stacked or overlap, which means that several targets could be tested in a single vertical exploration well. Additionally, the Johnson gas discovery east of PL001 could extend into the license area.
In 2013 Argos also commissioned Platte River Associates to conduct a basin modeling and source rock study of the North Falkland basin in this area. The results suggest the chief source rock in PL001 is in the Lower Cretaceous post-rift section, believed to be the source of the oil in theSea Lion field, with additional source rocks in the deeper syn-rift section.
Geological and geophysical work on the license is now largely complete. The next steps are engineering work for future well planning and design, and compilation of additional environmental data once final drilling locations have been selected.
Argos chairman Ian Thomson said: “We have focused on finding an industry partner to finance drilling operations with the capability and track record of progressing discoveries through to development…
“The farm-out effort has been an extended process with the main contributing factor being the timing of rig availability and drilling. Every potential farminee has wanted to participate in a shared drilling program with the other operators in the Falklands to realize the considerable cost savings that are achievable through sharing mobilization costs and logistics. This has required alignment with the other operators in the region on the timing and preparation for the forthcoming drilling campaign. This alignment is now being achieved with a shared rig identified and under negotiation for a drilling program commencing in early 2015.
“While Argos Resources cannot make a commitment to this rig contract until we have completed a farm-out, we have remained in close contact with the other operators to ensure that there is an option to join this drilling program once financing is secured.”
As part of this campaign, Premier Oil has announced plans to drill an additional appraisal well on Sea Lion, immediately east of PL001, and deepening it to test the Chatham prospect. Three more exploration wells are planned on new prospects south of Argos’ license.