Sea Lion Partners Agree to Lower-Cost Development

Partners in the Falkland Islands' Sea Lion field announced Thursday that they have agreed to adopt a phased, lower-cost development solution for the field with an initial phase designed to commercialize approximately 160 million barrels of oil.

Rockhopper Exploration said the development concept will target a gross production plateau of between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil per day.

The cost of developing the field to its initial phase is estimated to be less than $2 billion. Premier said that it believed that it could achieve this with a smaller, initial development of just the northeast part of the field – which would utilize a reduced well count. The firm said that it would be similar in scale to Premier's existing Catcher field development in the UK North Sea.

In spite of the lower-cost development solution, the firms said that they will continue to target first oil from Sea Lion in 2019 following sanction during the first half of 2016.

Rockhopper CEO Sam Moody commented in a company statement:

"We have worked closely with Premier Oil on a lower cost initial development scheme that allows us to move together towards project sanction that is not contingent on the involvement of a third party. 
"Overall, we are delighted with this revised approach as it materially reduces uncertainty of first-oil from Sea Lion, which we expect to be on production in 2019, as well as very significantly reduces the capex required to reach production."

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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