Rockhopper Exploration announced the results of the initial phase of mapping of prospects in its North Falkland Basin licenses, PL032 and PL033, where 850 square kilometers of 3D seismic data were collected in 2007. It is estimated by the directors of Rockhopper that the prospects identified could contain 1.9 billion barrels unrisked recoverable and have P50 unrisked recoverable reserves of circa 1.2 billion barrels. This list of prospects does not include a number of additional leads which are still being investigated. In addition, prospects have already been identified on licenses PL023 and PL024 which the directors believe have P50 unrisked recoverable reserves of 2.5 billion barrels.
The new mapping has identified five hydrocarbon plays in the acreage and confirmed the presence of multiple drilling targets. In addition, the 3D seismic has revealed that one of the exploration wells drilled by Shell in 1998 which (amongst other oil shows) encountered a thin sand with good hydrocarbon shows, is actually located at the very edge of a fan prospect which appears to thicken towards its center. The directors now believe that this thicker part of the fan prospect could therefore contain commercially viable accumulations of hydrocarbons.
The acreage, now held 100% by Rockhopper was previously held by Shell and two wells were drilled in 1998. Well 14/5-1 found oil and gas shows, well 14/10-1 recovered live oil to the surface. The Rockhopper 2007 3D seismic survey overshot the well locations and also the unexplored eastern basin margin which is currently an untested oil play.
The data confirm the prospectivity of the acreage and have further reduced the exploration risk as more play types have been identified.
Rockhopper will now commence advanced work on the data which will include AVO analysis, imaging studies, geochemical modeling, further detailed log analysis, depth conversion and reservoir modeling.
. "The quality of the 3D seismic data and the further insight into the basin it has allowed us is extremely encouraging," Rockhopper's Executive Chairman, Dr. Pierre Jungels, commented. "In my experience, we now have a very high quality prospect inventory from which to select a number of drilling locations. Work will now focus on refining the prospect inventory, including those previously identified in licenses PL023 and PL024, in preparation for drilling or farming out.
"In fairly shallow waters such as we have on this acreage, modern drilling techniques, subsea wells and FPSO technology allow stand alone development of structures smaller than the majority of those identified.
"We now have sufficient drilling targets to justify a drilling campaign, whether that means farming out or obtaining a rig as operator. Now that we have a larger number of potential drillable targets we can also begin to accelerate our search for a rig."
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