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Rockhopper Makes First Falklands Hydrocarbons Discovery


By J. Brock (FINN)

As indicated at the EIA Assessment Presentation at the Chamber of Commerce by Dr Scott Mckelvie of RPS Energy, Rockhopper Exploration has now reclassified a previous exploration well, 14/5-1A, drilled by Shell in 1998, as a gas discovery resulting in a claim of the first discovery in the Falkland Islands.

RPS Energy made the declaration in a Competent Persons Report on Rockhopper ExplorationÂ’s North Falkland Basin acreage that also confirms eight oil prospects with a combined prospective resource of (unrisked) 1 billion barrels recoverable.

According to a press release from Rockhopper Exploration, RPS Energy has classified the Johnson structure, which lies in approximately 500m of water in licence PL032, as a Contingent Gas Resource. This follows extensive re-interpretation by Rockhopper of well 14/5-1A (drilled by Shell in 1998) which encountered significant quantities of gas. Well 14/5-1A is now classified by RPS as a gas discovery.

The 3D seismic collected by Rockhopper in 2007 demonstrates a previously unmapped structural closure (Johnson) which is penetrated by well 14/5-1A. In the final well report for 14/5-1A, Shell recognised 165 meters of net pay. These are the first Contingent Resources declared in the Falkland Islands area.

As well as the Contingent Gas Resource, RPS listed eight oil prospects on Rockhopper operated acreage and two on non-Rockhopper operated acreage. Those on Rockhopper operated acreage could contain a total P50 recoverable of 998 million barrels on an unrisked basis. In addition to those eight prospects, Rockhopper has mapped 15 additional prospects which were not considered by RPS as they are unlikely to be targeted in the first round of drilling.

It is important to mention here that when one talks of barrels it refers to crude oil and when one talks about Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) it is natural gas that is being talked about.

Executive Chairman, Pierre Jungels, commented:

"The new RPS Energy CPR gives verification of the broad spread of our portfolio. Not only do we have the first discovery and contingent resource declared in the Falkland Islands area, but also we have over 20 structural oil prospects, 8 of which have been independently verified. This clearly demonstrates what the Directors feel is the highly attractive prospects of Rockhopper.

Johnson is now recognised as a contingent resource while Sea Lion and Ernest are now our foremost oil exploration targets, both with a 23% chance of success, not taking into account the positive CSEM outcome on Ernest, which we believe further improves the chance of success.”

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