Falklands : DEPARTMENT OF MINERAL RESOURCES REPORT FOR JUNE/JULY 2011
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 17.07.2011 (Article Archived on 31.07.2011)
Since the last report for the meeting held on 3 May 2011 Rockhopper Exploration has drilled and flow tested another appraisal well (14/10-5) on the Sea Lion field situated 400 metres from the discovery well (14/10-2). Press Releases from Rockhopper Exploration published the results from the well, and the flow test, where stabilised flow rates were recorded at 5,508 barrels per day.
DEPARTMENT OF MINERAL RESOURCES REPORT FOR JUNE/JULY 2011
By Phyl Rendell
Progress with the Offshore Drilling Programme
Since the last report for the meeting held on 3 May 2011 Rockhopper Exploration has drilled and flow tested another appraisal well (14/10-5) on the Sea Lion field situated 400 metres from the discovery well (14/10-2). Press Releases from Rockhopper Exploration published the results from the well, and the flow test, where stabilised flow rates were recorded at 5,508 barrels per day. The team at Rockhopper Exploration who were responsible for the flow test, particularly the engineering and logistics, are to be congratulated on achieving such a successful outcome. They have demonstrated again that technically challenging activities can be overcome in a remote location. The rig will move to a new appraisal location and spud well 14/10-6 next.
Mr Ken Humphrey has represented Rockhopper Exploration in Stanley throughout the flow test and an independent observer was employed by Rockhopper Exploration to observe the flaring of hydrocarbons from a supply vessel to assess any environmental impact. His report is the next item on the agenda.
The helicopter company, CHC Helicopters International Inc., has recently taken over the contract to move offshore crew to and from the rig using two Super Puma aircraft. The company is based in Stanley and is using Stanley Airport facilities as an operating base. British International Helicopters (BIH) have done an excellent job since the Ocean Guardian arrived here in February 2010 and CHC are equally welcome as an operating company in the Falkland Islands.
2D and 3D Seismic Surveys
The survey vessels, Polarcus Nadia and Polarcus Asima, completed their integrated 3D survey programmes in the North Falkland Basin for Argos Resources, Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration by the end of May. Argos Resources announced the completion of the survey over their licensed acreage in mid April and they have had some data fast track processed. Their press release of 5 July mentions that more of their data will be fast tracked due to the good results from the first package. Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration are similarly having data processed as soon as it is available in order to assist them to indentify additional structures that may be ranked significant enough to drill.
Falklands Oil & Gas Limited (FOGL) contracted the Gardline vessel Ocean Endeavour in February to acquire 2D seismic and environmental data over a number of drilling prospects in their acreage. The programme ended mid June after all the planned survey locations were completed and some 2D data had been acquired. The information acquired from the surveys will be incorporated into an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that the company plan to submit to FIG in August in preparation for drilling the Loligo well.
Weather conditions were particularly trying for the vessels in late summer and a report on seismic data acquisition will be presented at this meeting.
Argos Resources Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Argos Resources has submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) in preparation for drilling wells in their acreage. The EIS document is available from the Department of Mineral Resources to anyone wishing to read it. Argos Resources held public meetings, led by their Chairman, Mr Ian Thomson, in Stanley and Port Howard during the consultation period where they explained their drilling plans. The company has until 13 July to respond to written comments. The Environmental Planning Officer will draw up a report, taking into account the written comments received and an external review that was conducted for FIG. He will present his report to the next meeting of the Mineral Resources Committee and recommendations will then be forwarded to Executive Council.
Change of Rig for the Southern Basin Drilling Programme.
Borders & Southern Petroleum (BSP) announced on 6 May that the rig company, Ocean Rig, would be supplying the Leiv Eiriksson to drill their two firm wells in place of the Eirik Raude. The Leiv Eiriksson is currently drilling wells in western Greenland and is due to arrive on location in the Falkland Islands by the end of the year. Falklands Oil & Gas Ltd (FOGL) has also announced that they have agreed a contract with BSP to use the rig to drill two wells. One of their drilling locations is in on the structure called Loligo.
Oil and Gas Development Group Underway
One of the actions from the Economic Development Strategy was to establish a working group to review policies and regulations to ensure that the Falkland Islands economy can gain maximum benefit from oil and gas exploration activities. The Oil and Gas Development Group, with representation from the private sector, FIG, FIDC and the oil industry is meeting monthly in order to make recommendations where necessary to add value to current activities.
Offshore Hydrocarbon Environmental Forum
Further to the preliminary work carried out by the Mineral Resources Department, the Environmental Planning Department has taken the Forum forward by consulting stake -holders on the appointment of a chairperson. After advertisement in Penguin News names are to be considered at a meeting this week for possible appointment. The work of the Forum can then begin with agreeing the terms of reference for the Forum and priorities for discussion at a future meeting.
Oil Company Visitors
There have been numerous visits to the Islands by oil company consultants, particularly in relation to Rockhopper Explorationís flow test programme and BSPís drilling plans. In addition, Mr Eddie Wisniewski, Desire Petroleumís Finance Director and Mr Ken Black, Exploration Director, visited the Islands in early May and gave a presentation to the Mineral Resources Committee. Later in May Mr Peter Dixon-Clarke, Rockhopper Explorationís Finance Director and Mr Paul Culpin, Development Director, spent time in Stanley and held a very well attended public meeting, presenting the development concept of using Floating Production Storage & Offloading facilities (FPSOs) for oil production.
Due to disruptions with flights from volcanic ash, both a visit by BGS consultant, Dr Phil Richards and FOGL representatives, had to be postponed. FOGL will make their visit now at the end of July.
Use of Charter Flight seats during Volcanic Ash Cloud
Rockhopper Exploration is to be thanked for arranging for around 100 stranded passengers to travel north on their charter flight prior to finalising arrangements for passengers to book flights, after three consecutive airbridge flights had been cancelled due to the volcanic ash cloud over the South Atlantic.