Rockhopper contracted Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping plc in January 2006 to conduct two CSEM surveys over its acreage in the North Falkland Basin during January and February 2006. The surveys covered prospect J1 and lead K. Those areas were also the subject of a new 2D seismic survey, also acquired during January and February 2006.
Both targets (J1 and K) are located in relatively shallow water of less than 200m in licenses PL023 and PL024, an undrilled part of the North Falkland Basin near the Islands representing an independent play type from those plays and targets in the more northern part of the basin. The targets are both relatively shallow and this, combined with the shallow water depth, would make any wells drilled relatively quick and inexpensive should a rig be drilling in the area.
CSEM Preliminary Results
The preliminary results of both surveys have indicated the presence of discreet resistors in the area of the targets which, when combined with the existing seismic data, could prove to be a positive indicator of hydrocarbons.
The Directors remain cautious until the next step is complete, which will be to fully integrate the CSEM results with the new seismic data, which is in the final stages of data processing. Once this is complete, the Company should have a more definitive view of the extent of any potential reservoirs. That process could take several months.
Should the integration confirm the robust physical nature of J1 and support the interpretation of the resistor as a possible hydrocarbon accumulation, that target could be moved to the status of a fully drillable prospect without the need to acquire any additional seismic, subject to all necessary regulatory consents.
At the time of the Rockhopper Exploration AIM IPO in August 2005, Scott Pickford, the independent consultants, estimated that the J1 prospect had a P50 of approximately 328 million barrels STOIIP. Lead K was not assessed by Scott Pickford, but currently has a maximum mapped closure of approximately 29 km2.
Samuel Moody, Managing Director commented:
"While the report from OHM is preliminary and further integration with the new 2D seismic is required, we are greatly encouraged by these initial indications. This represents a truly significant step forward in the development of licenses PL023 and PL024 as we now have corroborating signs of potential hydrocarbons in both the seismic data and the CSEM."
"The CSEM surveys are specific to the targets covered and it's therefore difficult to infer anything from these preliminary indications from J1 and K in relation to the rest of the basin as a whole. However, it does give us encouragement that the southern part of the basin is as prospective as the geologically different central and northern parts, in which we also have interests and are actively exploring."
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