UK-based explorer Rockhopper says the Premier Oil-operated Sea Lion project, offshore the Falkland Islands, is moving towards sanction by year's end.
|Sea Lion schematic Phase 1, 2, and 3. Image from Rockhopper.|
Premier similarly stated in its operations report that the latest draft of the field development plan (FDP) was submitted to the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) in November last year. The public consultation for the environmental impact statement (EIS) is expected to begin this month, and last for 42 days, according to Sea Lion partner Rockhopper.
"Premier is in discussions with contractors for the provision of a range of services including vendor finance in respect of the Sea Lion Phase 1 Development and letters of intent are being signed," Premier noted.
Rockhopper stated in its operations update that it expects during Q1 2018 that the joint venture will enter further agreements related to drilling and the subsea system, again covering both the provision of services and the balance of the targeted vendor financing.
“We are delighted to have entered into exclusive [letters of intent] with a number of the key contractors to Sea Lion and are hopeful of entering more during Q1 2018," said Sam Moody, Chief Executive of Rockhopper. "This news, alongside good progress with FIG on the FDP discussions, and continued engagement with FIG and other stakeholders on the EIS, represents good progress in taking the steps required to sanction the Sea Lion development at the end of 2018."
Sea Lion is 200km north of the Falkland Islands, and sits in 450m water depth, on the eastern edge of the North Falkland Basin. In August 2016, Premier reduced development costs to US$1.5 billion, or $45/bbl breakeven project cost.
A 2016 report estimated the Falklands Greater Sea Lion Complex could contain more than 500 MMbbl of 2C or contingent resources. When gas is added to the total, the estimate could potentially be around 747 MMboe.
Premier operates the field with 60% interest. Rockhopper holds the remaining 40%.
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