Noble Energy's Humpback exploration well in the south Falklands basin has hit operational issues with results likely to be delayed by about a month, according to partner Falkland Oil and Gas (FOGL).
The well, which spudded on 13 June 2015, using the Eirik Raude semisubmersible drilling rig, in about 4170ft (1260m) water depth, experienced a series of unforeseen equipment and operational issues, according to investor analysts FirstEnergy.
According to Noble, Humpback holds 250 MMbbl estimated gross mean unrisked resources in a billion-barrel plus petroleum system in the Fitzroy sub-basin. FOGL says Humpback could contain an estimated 510 MMbbl mid-case gross unrisked prospective resources, with the Diomedea fan complex in the Fitzroy sub-basin potentially containing more than 1.7 billion bbl mid-case gross prospective resources. The firm says a successful well on Humpback would prove a new geological play concept within the South and East Falkland basins.
The well, on license PL012, is Noble's first in the Falklands in this latest drilling campaign, which started early 2015 and has already netted fellow explorer Premier Oil two discoveries - Zebedee and Isobel Deep, in the North Falkland Basin. Five to six wells are planned in the campaign, with Premier Oil and Noble Energy sharing the Eirik Raude.
Noble operates the Humpback well with 35% interest, with partners FOGL (52.5%) and Edison (12.5%).
FOGL was also a partner on the Premier Oil operated Zebedee well, which made an oil and gas discovery, announced on 5 April, and the Isobel Deep oil discovery, also made by Premier and announced 28 May. FOGL says the latter well opened up a new play in the previously unexplored southern part of PL004.
FOGL said alternate drilling options under consideration for next North Falklands basin well, also due to be drilled by Noble, which had been considering spudding the Rhea prospect, near the Sea Lion discovery.