Rockhopper confirms North Falkland as billion barrel basin

Oil and gas company Rockhopper Exploration has announced the completion of an independent audit of the Contingent and Prospective Resources of its assets in licences PL032 and PL004 in the North Falkland Basin, offshore the Falkland Islands, confirming it to be a billion barrel basin. 

The audit was completed by ERC Equipoise Limited (ERCE). Additionally, the management provided certain updated estimates utilizing the ERCE Audit work, most particularly around resources contained in the Isobel Elaine Area.

In the North Falkland Basin, Rockhopper holds 40% interests in licences PL032 which contains the Sea Lion field discovered by Rockhopper in 2010, and extends into licence PL004. Rockhopper has a 64% interest in licence PL004, which contains recent discoveries at Zebedee and in the Isobel Elaine complex

Rockhopper has reported that, as a result of the exploration campaign of 2015-2016 and the acquisition of Falkland Oil and Gas, completed in January 2016, its net Contingent Resources base in the North Falkland Basin has doubled to over 300 million barrels (MMstb) of oil (2C – audited plus management estimates).

Total gross Contingent Resources over PL032 and PL004, including gas, are 747 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) on a 2C basis and on a 3C basis 1,462MMboe (audited plus management estimates), with Rockhopper’s net share being over 50%.

“In our view this new audit confirms the potential of the North Falklands to be a billion barrel basin.”

The ERCE Audit has confirmed over half a billion barrels of 2C oil resources in the reservoirs that together make up the Sea Lion Complex including the reservoirs discovered in the Zebedee well. These resources are intended to be developed in two phases, the first of which will develop the resources in the north-east and north-west of the SL10 and SL20 fans.

In the Isobel / Elaine Complex, where data collection was compromised for operational reasons, ERCE has evaluated the Discovered STOIIP for each of the fans and attributed Contingent Resources to the Isobel Deep (F3H) fan from which significant oil was recovered to surface. For the other oil-bearing fans (Emily, Isobel and Isobel Deep J), ERCE believes that recovery factors comparable to those applied to discoveries could be achieved if an appraisal program demonstrates the potential to flow oil at a rate comparable to wells in these offset discoveries. For these fans, management has assigned a 25% recovery factor for the 2C and 35% for the 3C resources.

According to Rockhopper’s statement on Tuesday, in addition to the discovered resources, management believes there are a large number of near field prospects in the attractive and relatively low risk Isobel / Elaine appraisal area for which estimates of STOIIP and oil prospective resources have been made.

Sam Moody, Chief Executive of Rockhopper, commented: “In our view this new audit confirms the potential of the North Falklands to be a billion barrel basin. The Sea Lion Complex itself holds over half a billion barrels with almost 270 million barrels of low risk near field upside (including the SL20 west flank in oil-bearing case) which we believe could be assessed with as few as 3 or 4 more optimally targeted wells.

“In addition, the Isobel Elaine discovery has the potential to be a third regional development potentially containing over 500 million barrels. Combining the well-appraised Sea Lion field, the low risk near field upside and the Isobel Elaine appraisal area, a billion barrels of recoverable oil is within reach within the basin thanks to the outstanding track record of our sub surface team.”