Premier confirms oil discovery in Isobel Deep

Premier Oil plc has announced that the Isobel Deep re-drill (well 14/20-2) has confirmed the oil discovery encountered in the original Isobel Deep well, offshore the Falkland Islands.

In addition, this re-drill has discovered new hydrocarbons in additional sandstones.

According to Premier, the operator with 36% interest, the well which is located on licence PL004A reached TD at 3014 metres encountering oil bearing intervals in a number of sandstone reservoirs between 2564 metres and 2861 metres, the latter being the base of the Isobel Deep sand. No oil-water contacts have been encountered in a gross oil bearing interval of approximately 300 metres, Premier added.

The company also added that further evaluation would now be required to calibrate the well with the existing 3D seismic in order to determine future plans and the extent of the discovered resource.

According to Falkland Oil and Gas Limited (FOGL), a partner in the project, although the well was principally designed to re-drill the Isobel Deep sands, it was also able to test other sand bodies within the F3 sand system.

The well penetrated five separate fans within the complex, including: Isobel Deep, Isobel, Elaine South, Emily and Irene, FOGL said. All five of these fan systems were oil bearing and no gas was encountered. The well did not encounter an oil-water contact in any of the sands. The well discovered total net pay of 27m in the Isobel Deep, Isobel and Emily reservoirs, said FOGL.

“Whilst the data acquired is still to be fully evaluated and integrated, the initial view of the company is that the Isobel/Elaine complex is likely to contain commercially viable quantities of recoverable oil,” FOGL said.

Operations have now been suspended, Premier said, and the well will be plugged and abandoned as planned. The rig will then move to the Chatham well location.

Robin Allan, Exploration Director, commented: “The results of this well confirm the success of the Isobel Deep 14/20-1 well announced in May last year. We have encountered a substantial oil bearing interval, which confirms the potential of this part of the North Falkland basin as a standalone discovery.

“This successful re-drill of the Isobel Deep oil sand along with the additional discovery of new oil-bearing sandstones, is extremely encouraging for the prospectivity of the area with a proven petroleum system and a number of prospects established.”

Tim Bushell, FOGL CEO, commented: “This is an excellent result and completes a highly successful 2015/16 drilling campaign, with 3 out of 4 wells making significant oil discoveries. Such an outcome was considerably beyond our pre-drill expectations. Furthermore, the very positive well results in the North Falkland Basin underlines the importance of our decision to acquire Desire Petroleum in 2013 and diversify our exploration risk.

“The merger with Rockhopper is now the natural next step for the Company and should see the realisation of shareholder value via the progression of Sea Lion to first oil, the development of surrounding oil discoveries including Isobel/Elaine and further exploration of a number of material untested prospects.”

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