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Offshore Falklands Sea Lion project enters final planning phase

Rockhopper Exploration and operator Premier Oil have submitted a revised draft field development plan for the Sea Lion Phase 1 project to the Falkland Islands government.

According to Rockhopper, a final submission should follow in the lead-up to sanction of the project, in the offshore North Falkland basin.

A 42-day public consultation on the environmental impact statement (EIS) that started in January 2018 drew no material objections, but various comments identified through the process will be addressed in the final EIS.

The partners hope to secure the consents and agreements needed to take a final investment decision later this year.

Conceptual studies are under way on potential development of the remaining resources in license PL032 and the satellite accumulations in the north of PL004 (Sea Lion Phase 2) and for the Isobel/Elaine fan complex in the south of PL004 (Phase 3).

Phase 2 static and dynamic modeling are progressing, and subsurface studies will examine locations for future appraisal wells to characterize existing discoveries and to determine other exploration objectives.

Sea Lion Phase 1 will develop 220 MMbbl in PL032, while Phase 2 will recover a further 300 MMbbl from the remaining resources in PL032 and the satellite accumulations in the north of PL004.

In addition, 200 MMbbl of low risk, near-field exploration potential could be included in either Phase 1 or 2.

Phase 3 will entail development of the Isobel/Elaine fan complex in the south of PL004, pending further appraisal drilling.

Phase 1 involves a conventional FPSO development with around 23 wells. To date the partners and their contractors have brought down the cost of the field support services, including supply boats, helicopters and shuttle tankers, with field operating costs at present less than $15/bbl.

Estimated capex to first oil is $1.5 billion.

In the North Adriatic Sea offshore eastern Italy, Rockhopper is a partner to Eni in the Guendalina gas field, which started production in October 2011.

New static and dynamic models for the field that incorporate new well data suggest gas initially in place is larger than previous thought.

Last year the partners also worked on ways of reducing operating costs at the field, primarily through optimizing water disposal.

Following the decision by Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development not to award Rockhopper a production concession covering the offshore Ombrina Mare field, the tripod structure built in 2008 for future production purposes was decommissioned and removed last October.

Rockhopper will seek to recover the costs of this and the prior well P&A through the international arbitration process.

Source: Offshore

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