Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/15-4 well (the "Well") was spudded, by Rockhopper as operator, at 08.15hrs GMT on 28 November 2011.
The Well is situated on Licence PL004b in which Rockhopper will earn a 60% interest by drilling 14/15-4. The Well is designed to investigate reservoir presence and hydrocarbon charge towards the southernmost mapped limit of the Sea Lion field and is located approximately 12.1 km to the south west of the 14/10-2 discovery well and 6.3 km to the south of well 14/10-9.
The Well is also an exploration well on the Beverley prospect.
The Company intends to drill to target depth ("TD") then subsequently sidetrack to core should significant hydrocarbon charged reservoir be encountered in either the Sea Lion Main Complex or Beverley. Initial drilling and logging operations are expected to take approximately 20 days and a further RNS will be issued prior to commencing any sidetrack.
The Company intends that 14/15-4 will be the final well it operates during the current drilling campaign.
Rockhopper Exploration plc
Sam Moody - Chief Executive
Tel. +44 (0)20 7920 2340 (via M: Communications)
Patrick d'Ancona or Ben Simons
Tel. +44 (0)20 7920 2340
Canaccord Genuity Limited
Charles Berkeley / Henry Fitzgerald-O'Connor
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7050 6500
Notes to Editors
Rockhopper was established in February 2004 with a strategy to invest in and carry out an offshore oil exploration programme to the north of the Falkland Islands. The Company floated on AIM in August 2005 and holds a 100 per cent. interest in four offshore production licences: PL023, PL024, PL032 and PL033 which cover approximately 3,800 sq. km. Rockhopper has also farmed in (7.5% working interest) to licences PL003 and PL004, which are operated by Desire Petroleum. In addition to the original farm-in, and in consideration for paying the full cost of the drilling of one well on the north-western acreage of licence PL004, known as Area 1, which Rockhopper believes contains the extension to the Sea Lion field and the western part of the "Beverley" prospect, Rockhopper has farmed-in with operatorship and an aggregate 60% interest in Area 1. Rockhopper has further farmed into the north-eastern part of licence PL004 known as Area 2, which the Company believes contains the "Jayne" prospect and the eastern part of the "Beverley" prospect, with an aggregate 25% interest. Rockhopper has now received the necessary regulatory approvals including consent for change of operatorship on licence PL004b (Area 1) which it now operates. These licences have been granted by the Falkland Islands government.
An extensive work programme has been carried out over a number of years on the licences operated by Rockhopper. This has included 2D and 3D Seismic and Controlled Source Electromagnetic Mapping (CSEM). In February 2010, the Ocean Guardian drilling rig arrived in Falkland waters to carry out a multi-well drilling campaign. Rockhopper drilled an exploration well on its Sea Lion prospect during April and May 2010, the result of which was the first oil discovery and Contingent Oil Resource in the North Falkland Basin. The Sea Lion
discovery was successfully tested during September 2010 and June 2011 and was the first oil to flow to surface in Falkland Islands waters. Rockhopper contracted seismic vessels MV Polarcus Asima and Nadia to carry out a 3D seismic survey over areas of licences PL024, PL032 and PL033 which were not previously defined by 3D, as well as adjacent areas. Data over the southern portion of licences PL032 and PL033 has been fast track processed and an initial interpretation has now been completed. The balance of the newly acquired 3D seismic data is still being processed and the Company expects it will be available for interpretation before the end of 2011.
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