Rockhopper Commissions EIA, Sees Signs of Easing Rig Market

Rockhopper Exploration plc has appointed RPS Energy (RPS) to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) over licenses PL023 and PL024. The EIA will be conducted in parallel with Desire Petroleum's EIA over licenses PL006 and PL007, resulting in cost savings for both companies.

The EIA will prepare Rockhopper for the drilling of Prospect Ernest and also provide background work for any other drilling undertaken in licenses PL023 and PL024. An additional EIA will be carried out over licenses PL032 and PL033 following completion of the current 3D seismic processing and interpretation exercise to prepare for any drilling on that acreage.

Completion of our 3D has brought Rockhopper closer to drilling, and a number of contractors have indicated increased availability of drilling units to the company during 2008 that would be capable of drilling in its water depth and that of its partner, Desire.

Sam Moody, Managing Director, commented:

"We are very pleased to be working with RPS who have already successfully produced an EIA for Rockhopper and Desire in licenses PL003 and PL004.

"We are getting strong indications of easing in the rig market in terms of availability, though not yet in price, with floating drilling units suitable for the Falklands due to become available during 2008. While prices remain relatively high, we do not believe they are prohibitive. With this in mind, undertaking an EIA at this stage will put us in a position to act quickly when an appropriate rig becomes available."

The Rockhopper Group started trading in February 2004 to invest in and carry out an offshore oil exploration program to the north of the Falkland Islands. The Group, floated on AIM in August 2005, is currently the largest license holder in the North Falkland Basin and has a 100 percent. interest in four offshore production licenses which cover approximately 5,800 sq. km. These licenses have been granted by the Falkland Islands government.

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