Falklands : FALKLANDS COULD EXPLOIT OIL BY 2017
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 11.08.2012 (Article Archived on 25.08.2012)
Simon Lockett, Chief Executive Officer for Premier Oil and Sam Moody, Chief Executive of Rockhopper Exploration are visiting the Falkland Islands.
FALKLANDS COULD EXPLOIT OIL BY 2017
By J. Brock (FINN)
Simon Lockett, Chief Executive Officer for Premier Oil and Sam Moody, Chief Executive of Rockhopper Exploration are visiting the Falkland Islands. Simon Lockett is accompanied by a team of experts from his company on a familiarisation visit with a view to establishing an office for a representative to oversee up and coming exploitation by 2017. At the moment there is no name for the Subsidiary Company that will be set up to carry out the complicated logistics involved in future exploitation. But what of the interim period between now and 2017; with the Leif Erickson going, will there be more detailed seismic before exploiting the oil?
SM: I don’t think there is an immediate need for seismic in the Sea Lion area. The Seismic on Sea Lion on which we made all the discoveries and have drilled all these appraisal wells is probably good enough for the time being. Now, you might need seismic in other areas but this is something we might wish to discuss with Premier
SL: And the next phase on the exploration, which Sam and his team will continue is figuring out what will be drilled next. Whilst there isn’t a need for immediate seismic, we are looking for a rig to see what we can drill at some point in the future.
FINN: Is the rig market still tight?
SL: The difficulty today is there is a very, very tight rig market and it’s probably not going to ease this side of 2012 because higher oil prices mean that everybody is chasing down rigs to be able to do the work they need to do and we will try and get a rig as soon as we can and it looks more likely to be 2014.
FINN: In the meantime, will you be doing more detailed analysis on the discoveries already made?
SL: Now we have created the Joint Venture partnership between Premier Oil and Rockhopper Exploration, Sam Moody’s team will hand over the sub-surface work and a lot of the engineering work to my team. Hopefully some of his team will transfer over as well. Some of the contracting people may transfer over as well. After that there will be a lot of detailed work principally to see that the kit that will develop it arrives and is fit for purpose we are hoping to do. There will be a long engineering piece – front end engineering and design (FEED). After FEED, with everyone’s consent, we will go into the construction phase which will bring the field facilities together and bring the whole thing on stream somewhere around 2017, though there is a possibility things might happen a little bit earlier if we can get it to work a bit quicker.
FINN: 2017 – will that be for more detailed seismic?
SM: That will actually be for producing oil.
FINN: Will your presence here be limited until things get going?
SL: We want to have a person here and the ability to represent us all the time. The number of people will build up as the project grows. The bulk of activity related to the development phase would not happen here until 2015 – 2016. I hope we will be drilling wells sooner than that. From 2015-16 there will be a lot more consistency around the work activities. In 2017 when we are producing oil there will be on-going activity probably from the next 20 – 30 years from the field development itself.
FINN: What depth will you be drilling and what type of rig do you require?
SM: The water depth is about 450 metres at the sea lion field and the rig will be a bit like the Ocean Guardian.
SL: In fact, at that point in time we hope to have two semi submersibles out there to do all the development wells. There will be in in excess of 30 wells to produce the field itself. And they will all be tied back through pipelines and to a big floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), basically a big ship with all the equipment on it to be able to do it.
FINN: On these ships would there be technology to do gas to liquids or even liquefied natural gas or will you only be concentrating only on crude? If you strike significant amounts of gas would GTL and LNG be a possibility?
SL: There is some gas inside the existing crude itself. Normally we would use that gas as fuel offshore. The crude itself is waxy and it needs to be heated. Quite a lot of fuel is required just to keep the crude warm and all the power systems up and running. That’s one part of it. Not enough gas has been found to commercialise the gas that is out there. There would need to be a big gas find before you get into conversations around LNG.
SM: Actually in Beverly and Casper South there is actual gas but there isn’t enough to commercialise if. The biggest gas prospect in the North Falkland Basin is somewhere called Johnson. That could be quite big but in our view at Rockhopper it is better to go chasing oil – certainly in the short term than it is gas. And there is plenty more oil to go for, I think on our licences. I think there are more discoveries to be made.
Simon Lockett says that perhaps readers should come up with a name for the new subsidiary company to be set up here. Perhaps Premier Oil (Falklands) Limited would do in the meantime.