2015 Falklands drilling inked

June 4, 2014

Oil and gas exploration efforts around the Falkland Islands are set to ramp up next year after rig contracts were agreed.

Ocean Rig's deepwater, harsh environment semisubmersible drilling rig Eirik Raude (pictured) has been signed up by Premier Oil to drill four wells in the North Falklands basin and, under a rig sharing agreement with Noble Energy, it will also drill two wells in the South and East Falklands basin.

Partner Rockhopper Exploration says the four targets in the North Falklands basin along could contain more than 520MM bbl net to Rockhopper. 

Drilling could start as early as Q1 next year, targeting hundreds of millions of barrels of hydrocarbons, and there are options for a further 16 wells. 

Premier Oil will start its campaign first. Rockhopper Exploration, a partner with Premier, said it was anticipated that the first two wells would be on the Zebedee and Isobel/Elaine prospects. Noble is then expected to take the rig for two wells in the South and East Falkland basin, before returning it to Premier Oil for two wells, which are likely to be the Jayne East and Chatham / Sea Lion West Flank locations in the North Falkland basin, said Rockhopper.

FOGL is a partner on five of the six contracted wells: the two planned wells operated by Noble Energy in the South and East Falkland basin and the three wells to be operated by Premier in the North Falkland Basin. 

FOGL has 40% interest in the Zebedee, Jayne East, and Isobel Deep prospects, which are all in license PL004, to the south and east of the Sea Lion field. FOGL estimates that the three prospects have combined prospective resources (recoverable oil) net to FOGL of over 200MM bbl.

FOGL said prospect identification on Noble’s targets in the South and East Falkland Basin, based on the recent 3D surveys, is ongoing and will continue into the summer of 2014.  

The rig, which was not named, is expected to arrive in the North Falklands basin between February and May next year, to start the drilling program in late Q1/early Q2 2015. 

The extension options comprise eight options that can be exercised prior to the rig being mobilized and up to eight further options that can be elected during the drilling campaign. 

Sam Moody, Rockhopper’s CEO, said: "The four firm wells in the North Falklands basin will target a total of over 520MM bbl of STOIIP net to Rockhopper (management estimate) and will bring the total number of wells Rockhopper has drilled in the Falklands as both operator and non-Operator to 19."

Read more: Tension legs for Sea Lion  Premier wants partner in Sea Lion


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