The Ocean Guardian drilling campaign came to an end with the completion of Rockhopper Exploration's Sea Lion/Beverley well in late December. The well penetrated four different prospects: Beverley, Casper South, Casper and Sea Lion. Beverley and Casper South were declared gas and gas and oil discoveries respectively, while the appraisal of Sea Lion and Casper proved successful with 8m and 2.4m of net oil pay respectively. Meanwhile, Borders & Southern Petroleum's drilling campaign is expected to start in early February as the deep-water rig Leiv Eiriksson prepares to spud on the Darwin prospect. The Leiv Eiriksson will drill a total of four wells to the South and East of the Falklands; two for Borders & Southern and two for Falklands Oil & Gas Limited. For more information please visit our current exploration page.
Rockhopper Exploration has announced the successful abandonment of well 14/10-9 and its sidetrack, 14/10-9z. As well as penetrating and appraising the Sea Lion Main Complex, the well confirmed a Gas and Oil Discovery in the Casper target, with 18m of total net hydrocarbon pay and good reservoir quality. The 14/10-9z sidetrack collected 60m of core through Casper and Sea Lion and brings the total core collected in the present drilling campaign to 340m. Rockhopper will now drill a well in the PL004b licence area, originally part of Desire Petroleum acreage now operated by Rockhopper under the terms of a recent farm-in agreement. For more information, please visit our current exploration page.
01 July 2011. The exploration programme that began in February 2010 using Diamond Offshore Drilling's semi-submersible, Ocean Guardian, is ongoing. Twelve wells have been drilled so far during this programme, bringing the total number of wells drilled in the Falkland Islands Offshore Area to 18 (6 wells were drilled in the 1998 drilling campaign). Rockhopper Exploration will continue using Ocean Guardian to drill a programme of exploration and appraisal wells in the North Falkland Basin. This programme is currently expected to last until at least the 3rd Quarter of 2011. See the Current Exploration page for further details.
Borders & Southern Petroleum signed a contract with Ocean Rig UDW for the provision of mobile drilling services using the Leiv Eiriksson, a dynamically positioned, harsh environment, semi-submersible, for use both by Borders and Southern and Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd. The rig is expected to be mobilised to the Falklands in the 4th Quarter of 2011.
For more information on company operations in the Falkland Islands Offshore Area, please visit the relevant company's website.
Argos Resources - www.argosresources.com
BHP Billiton - www.bhpbilliton.com
Borders & Southern - www.bordersandsouthern.com
Desire Petroleum - www.desireplc.co.uk
Falkland Oil and Gas - www.fogl.co.uk
Rockhopper Exploration - www.rockhopperexploration.co.uk
The exploration programme that began in February 2010 using Diamond Offshore Drilling’s semi-submersible, Ocean Guardian, is ongoing. 6 wells have been drilled in this programme, bringing the total number of wells drilled in the Falkland Islands Offshore Area to 12 (6 wells were drilled in the 1998 drilling campaign). Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration will continue using Ocean Guardian to drill a programme of exploration and appraisal wells in the North Falkland Basin. This programme is currently expected to last until the 3rd Quarter of 2011.
Borders & Southern Petroleum signed a contract with Ocean Rig UDW for the provision of mobile drilling services using the Eirik Raude, a dynamically positioned, harsh environment, semi-submersible. The rig is expected to be mobilised to the South Falkland Basin in the 4th Quarter of 2011.
The North Falkland Basin Operators, Argos Resources, Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration have recently contracted Polarcus Limited to undertake extensive seismic survey operations in the North Falkland Basin. The data acquisition is currently in progress.
6/12/2010 Update to news item from 2/12/2010. Desire Petroleum has provided an update regarding results from the FI 14/15-2 ‘Rachel North’ well. The preliminary results, announced on 3rd December 2010 suggested that this well was an ‘oil discovery’. However on 6th December Desire reported that sampling of the main sand has shown that the hydrocarbons are residual and that the mobile fluid is water. A deeper target is still interpreted to be oil bearing, but the interval is thin and reservoir quality is poor. Following the acquisition of additional wireline data, the Rachel North well will be plugged and abandoned. The Ocean Guardian rig will then move to the Dawn/Jacinta prospect in which Desire has a 100% interest.
2/12/2010 - Desire Petroleum announces oil discovery in FI 14/15-2 ‘Rachel North’. Desire Petroleum announced on 2nd December 2010 that its well, FI 14/15-2 ‘Rachel North’, has been drilled to a depth of 3052 metres. That the first indications are that this well is an oil discovery. Desire Petroleum will now complete further wireline logging and sampling operations on the well, after which the company will release further information.
Borders & Southern Petroleum plc announced on 29th November 2010 that it has signed a contract with Ocean Rig UDW Inc. for the provision of mobile drilling rig services using the Eirik Raude drilling unit, a dynamically positioned, harsh environment semi-submersible. The rig is currently operating in West Africa and is not expected to commence operations in the South Falkland Basin until late 2011.
Rockhopper Exploration announces preliminary results of well testing in FI 14/10-2(Sea Lion).
The first well in the South Falkland Basin, FI 61/05-1 "Toroa", has been drilled to a depth of 2476 metres and has been plugged and abandoned. Diamond Offshore’s Semi-Submersible Ocean Guardian will now drill Rockhopper Exploration’s Ernest prospect during July and August. This well will be the first well to be drilled in the southern part of the North Falkland Basin.
The Falkland Islands Government is extremely encouraged by Rockhopper Exploration’s announcement regarding well FI 14/10-2 (Sea Lion) in which they state they have made the first oil discovery in the North Falkland Basin.
Hon Emma Edwards, Member of the Legislative Assembly, said, “The initial results from Sea Lion are very exciting and we would like to offer our congratulations to Rockhopper Exploration. We look forward to receiving more information in due course. This bodes well for the long term future of the Falkland Islands hydrocarbons industry.”
Oil rig Ocean Guardian commenced exploratory drilling operations offshore the Falkland Islands on 22nd February. The rig is contracted to Desire Petroleum plc which has a licence to drill in the North Falkland Basin. On completion of this initial Desire Petroleum well, the rig will drill a well for Rockhopper Exploration plc in their licensed acreage.
Diamond Offshore Semi-submersible rig Ocean Guardian is currently on its way to the Falklands and expected to arrive in mid-February 2010. The rig is set to drill a minimum of four wells (with the possibility of an additional two wells) for Desire Petroleum and two for Rockhopper Exploration in the North Falkland Basin. Additionally, BHP Billiton Petroleum and partner Falkland Oil and Gas are hoping to use the rig for one well in the South Falklands Basin. The campaign is expected to last 6 to 8 months, after which the rig will in all likelihood leave the area while results are analysed.
Drilling equipment cargo vessel
Honest Rays arriving in Stanley
A new licence, covering blocks 25/8, 9 and 14b in the North Falkland Basin has been awarded to Desire Petroleum (20%) and Arcadia Petroleum (80%). These blocks were offered in a new round of open-door licensing in April 2008. Desire have been appointed operator.
The Falkland Islands Government has (from early April) partially lifted the suspension on open-door licensing. Following the award of new acreage to Desire and Arcadia, the partial lifting of the suspension applies only to blocks 25/7, 12, 13, 17 and 18. A copy of the new guidance notes for applicants can be downloaded here.
Desire Petroleum has released the details of the farm-out agreement it has reached with Arcadia. Details can be found on Desire's company website (Desire Petroleum PLC).
Desire Petroleum has announced that it has accepted the terms of an offer from a significant party to farm-in to three of the eighteen exploration prospects identified by Desire in the North Falkland Basin and currently carried in the Company's prospect inventory, subject to certain conditions. See www.desireplc.co.uk for details.
Desire Petroleum has announce that Wavefield InSeis has completed the full site survey programme on Tranches C, I and L as planned. The entire survey was successfully acquired in 6 days with no weather downtime. The outstanding lines in Tranche C were acquired in addition to new site surveys over 4 prospects in Tranches I and L.
A site survey over the Ernest prospect in PL024 was completed by Wavefield Inseis in Dec 2007.
Rockhopper Exploration has announced that Wavefield Inseis has finished collecting a new tranche of 550 Km of 2D seismic data over its Weddell prospect.
As per their licence agreement with FIG, BHP Billiton/FOGL have relinquished 25% of their acreage holding over PL025, 026, 027, 028 and 029 (see map).
Rockhopper Exploration has, in accordance with the terms of their licences PL023 and PL024, given notice of their intention to move to Phase 2 with effect from November 2007. This move to Phase 2 entails Rockhopper automatically relinquishing 50% of the licence area; they have identified this area and FIG has agreed to the plan.
Rockhopper Exploration have finished processing of their 3D seismic survey over parts of licences PL032 and PL033 previously held by Shell. The BGS has, on behalf of FIG, started its own independent evaluation of this 3D dataset.
Borders and Southern Petroleum has successfully applied for a two year extension to Phase 1 of their exploration programme for licences PL018 to PL022, in exchange for a commitment to acquire at least 750km2 of new 3D seismic data over part of the licensed area. It is anticipated that the survey will commence in October 2007.
The Government has proactively decided to alter and extend the exploration phases of existing "Open Door" Production Licences in order to ensure more time is potentially available to all licensees to pursue aggressive and expeditious exploration programmes in these predominantly deep water areas.
Phase 1 of the licences currently run for either 3 years (if 2D seismic is planned) or 5 years (if 2D seismic plus 3D seismic is planned. Additionally, there is already a facility to allow extension of a 3 year Phase 1 to 5 years if 3D seismic is committed part way through Phase 1. The Government has now decided to amend Phase 1 to allow exploration for up to 8 years, according to the following schedules:
|Work Programme||Time allowed in Phase 1|
|2D seismic||3 years|
|2D + 3D seismic||5 years|
|2D seismic + well||6 years|
|2D + 3D seismic + well||8 years|
In addition, the Government has decided to extend the existing Phase 2 exploration period, which is entered only subject to a 50% relinquishment of acreage and a commitment to drill a well, from 3 years to 5 years. This will allow greater flexibility and longer lead-in times for companies attempting to source deep-water capable drilling rigs, which are currently in short supply worldwide.
BHP Billiton Petroleum, based in Houston, has agreed to farm-in to all of FOGL's licences. As part of the arrangement with the Government, the companies have agreed to move two of the existing 4 commitment wells on the acreage from Phase 2 into Phase 1, so that one well will be drilled on PL010 to PL016 before December 2010, and one well will be drilled on PL025 to PL031 by December 2010, taking advantage of the Government's decision to extend Phase 1 of "Open Door" licences in the event of drilling during that Phase.
Furthermore, the companies have agreed immediately to relinquish all of PL030 in exchange for the Government allowing the merger of the currently separate work programmes for PL031 with that for PL025 to PL029. This means, effectively, that instead of drilling a commitment well in each of the grouped areas PL025 to PL029 and PL030 to PL031, the companies may now drill the two commitment wells for these licences anywhere within these combined licences (minus PL030 which has been returned to Government).
The companies will be able to enter Phase 2 in December 2010 only if they agree at that time to drill their outstanding two commitment wells in Phase 2, with one well in PL010 to PL016 and one well in PL025 to PL031. Entry to Phase 2 will be dependent on the Phase 1 wells having already been drilled.
Also, as part of the farm-in negotiations, the Government have required the group to relinquish 25% of their 2004 licences (PL025 to PL031) in December 2007, regardless of the fact that both will now run to December 2010 in Phase 1. Then, in December 2010, before the group can move to Phase 2, they will have to relinquish a further 25% of the original area. The group has already relinquished 50% of its 2002 licences (PL010 to PL016) as part of a round of previously imposed Government sanctions.
BHP Billiton will assume the operatorship of these licences from January 2008.Tullow leave Falklands: Tullow Oil, who inherited their share of FOGL's 2002 Southern Basin licences (PL010 to PL016) when they bought the world-wide assets of Hardman Resources, has decided to exercise an option to resign from the FOGL licences.