Rockhopper has entered into an agreement to take up two optional drilling slots under the original rig contract between Desire and Diamond Offshore Drilling, owners of the Ocean Guardian drilling rig. The Company is also in discussions to take up further well slots on the Ocean Guardian.
Rockhopper is in discussions with the Falkland Islands Government regarding the declaration of a Discovery Area which is likely to encompass the southern lobe of the Sea Lion fan where the Sea Lion discovery well, 14/10-2 was drilled earlier during 2010.
Rockhopper's next anticipated well, 14/10-3, is expected to spud during January 2011 and will be an exploration well on the northern lobe of the Sea Lion fan system outside of the proposed Discovery Area, approximately 8km from the Sea Lion discovery well. The well will also target deeper sands, including S2, which the Company has mapped following the Sea Lion oil discovery earlier this year. S2 has a newly-identified reservoir feeder system and a total area currently mapped of 42 square kilometers. The well is located downdip to the main part of the S2 fan and should provide valuable reservoir information. The S2 fan is mapped on the existing Rockhopper 3D seismic and sits entirely within 100% held Rockhopper acreage.
The second well, 14/10-4, is currently planned as an appraisal well, within the proposed Sea Lion Discovery Area on the southern Lobe of the Sea Lion fan system, the timing of which is subject to the order of drilling slots as yet to be determined.
Rockhopper has identified a number of other potential drilling locations which are a combination of appraisal and exploration wells.
Sam Moody, Chief Executive of Rockhopper, commented, "We are delighted to have secured the use of the Ocean Guardian for a further two wells and are in discussions to secure further drilling slots. We expect to undertake a significant drilling program during 2011, including a number of appraisal and exploration wells designed to refine our understanding of our northern licenses."
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