Falkland Islands: Sea Lion Oil Discovery Could Be Commercially Viable, Rockhopper Says


Rockhopper Exploration plc , the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to report the successful test of well 14/10-2: “Sea Lion 1.”

Sea Lion 1 was drilled in a water depth of 451m during April and May 2010 and suspended for future testing, having encountered a gross oil column of 217m with net pay of 53m. Initial MDT samples were confirmed as medium grade crude oil of 26 .4 – 29.2 API gravity.

Sea Lion 1 was re-entered during September 2010 and was flowed for 18 hours. The well tested at sustained rates in excess of 2,000 barrels per day with a maximum rate of 2,304 barrels per day. The flow test results are in line with Rockhopper’s pre-test expectations and were significantly limited by downhole and surface equipment. The well produced no water, no H2S and negligible CO2. Downhole pressures were recorded and their analysis will inform the Company’s development scoping plans. A number of downhole and surface samples were collected and will be further analysed in the UK.

The test was carried out with limited equipment owing to the length of the logistics chain and timelines involved in securing such equipment. Rockhopper anticipates that the additional equipment that would be incorporated into any future test, when combined with a more optimal well location, would result in a significantly higher flow rate.

Rockhopper now intends to plug and abandon the well as planned.

Pierre Jungels, Executive Chairman, commented:

“Rockhopper is the first company to successfully flow oil to surface in Falkland Islands waters. The test has provided vital information which will allow us to move forward through appraisal, a key step in proving the reserves discovered.

We believe that Sea Lion is the largest fan sandstone body in the North Falkland Basin and, given this successful flow test, that the Sea Lion discovery will be commercially viable.”

Source: Rockhopperexploration,September 20, 2010,

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