Premier Oil contracts rig for Falkland Islands exploration campaign
SALISBURY, United Kingdom -- Rockhopper Exploration has announced that a drilling unit has been contracted by Premier Oil plc to drill a minimum of four firm wells in the North Falkland basin.
The rig has been contracted by Premier as Operator and will also be used by Noble Energy under a rig sharing agreement to drill a further two firm wells elsewhere in the Falklands. Additionally, eight options have been secured which can be exercised prior to mobilization and a further eight, which can be elected at key points during the campaign.
While the drilling order has yet to be finalized, Rockhopper and its partners anticipate using the first two firm slots on the rig to drill the Zebedee and Isobel/Elaine prospects, with Noble taking the third and fourth, before the rig returns to the North Falkland basin for the final two firm wells which are likely to be the Jayne East and Chatham/Sea Lion West Flank locations.
Rockhopper' s sub-surface team has been continuing to fine-tune the exploration locations to ensure that reservoirs are penetrated in the most optimal position. In the case of the Isobel/Elaine fan complex this means the well has been relocated to target the Isobel Deep Fan only as the first well in that area and that the prospective STOIIP for the well reflects that change:
It is anticipated that the rig will arrive in the North Falklands basin between February and May next year.
Sam Moody, Rockhopper' s CEO, commented, "We are very pleased that the contract for this rig has been signed and that we can now get planning in earnest for the next exploration drilling campaign. The four firm wells in the North Falklands basin will target a total of over 520 MMbbls of STOIIP net to Rockhopper (management estimate) and will bring the total number of wells Rockhopper has drilled in the Falklands as both Operator and non-Operator to 19. Given our track record in the basin we are confident that the targets of our new drilling campaign are highly prospective. We continue to work closely with Premier as we jointly move the Sea Lion project towards Final Investment Decision."