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Falklands find appraised as commercial oil field

The board of Rockhopper Exploration PLC considers the company’s Sea Lion oil discovery in the North Falklands basin in the South Atlantic to be commercial.

The third appraisal well, 14/10-6, has confirmed the main fan complex full to spill point, and formation pressure tests indicate the well to be in reservoir communication with the 14/10-2 discovery well and the 14/10-4 and 14/10-5 appraisal wells.

The 14/10-6 appraisal well on the PL032 license went to 2,706 m some 4.1 km west of the discovery well. Wireline log analysis indicated 119 ft of net oil pay in the Sea Lion main fan in a 138-ft gross interval.

Reservoir quality is good with porosity averaging 21.6% and topping out at 28.8%. Water saturation averages 21%. No oil water contact is observed in the Sea Lion main fan.

Meanwhile, in the Sea Lion lower fan complex the 14/10-6 well intersected a well-developed lower sand package (sand B15) beneath the oil-water contact at minus 2,477 m true vertical depth subsea that is water wet with no shows.

This section has a 112-ft gross reservoir package with 85% net to gross. Porosity averages 20% and was as high as 25.3%. The B15 sand showed significant thickening away from the 14/10-2 and 14/10-5 wells as prognosed.

Formation pressure tests indicate the B15 sand to be in pressure communication with the Sea Lion main fan complex, giving significant updip exploration potential, Rockhopper said. Deeper thin lower fan sands penetrated in wells 14/10-2 and 14/10-5 show a separate, deeper oil column not developed at this well location.

Well 14/10-6 was designed to investigate reservoir and hydrocarbon presence in the company’s mid-case Sea Lion mapped area. The 14/10-6 well was the first to penetrate the Sea Lion main fan to the west of the mapped structural low that runs north-south through Sea Lion. The well has been highly successful, proving a thick, high quality reservoir package and a substantial oil column.

Rockhopper ran wireline logs and several minidrillstem tests in the main fan complex and flowed oil from the main fan. It will integrate the results with other wireline logging data to give an estimate of potential well productivity. The company does not consider full production tests necessary and will plug the well.

Once the results of this well are integrated into the fast-track seismic covering the southern part of the PL032 and PL033 licenses, Rockhopper will detail the seismic interpretation and the implications of well 14/10-6 for management estimates of Sea Lion’s resource.

Next Rockhopper will drill an exploratory well 3.3 km northwest of the discovery well outside the Sea Lion discovery area to investigate the presence of reservoir and hydrocarbon charge towards the northernmost currently mapped extent of the Sea Lion main fan.

Rockhopper has said it will probably develop Sea Lion using a floating production, storage, and offloading facility or tension-leg platform with a floating storage unit. It must submit a development plan to the Falkland Island government by April 2013, 3 years from the 14/10-2 spud date.


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