Falklands : DIRECTOR OF MINERAL RESOURCES REPORT FOR FRIDAY, 27 AUGUST 2010:
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 05.09.2010 (Article Archived on 19.09.2010)
BHP Billiton (BHPB) have completed their Toroa well (61/05-1) in the South Falkland Basin and the rig has been re-located in the North Falkland Basin to drill further wells for Rockhopper Exploration and Desire Petroleum.
DIRECTOR OF MINERAL RESOURCES REPORT FOR FRIDAY, 27 AUGUST 2010:
By Phyl Rendell
1. Progress with Offshore Drilling Programme
BHP Billiton (BHPB) have completed their Toroa well (61/05-1) in the South Falkland Basin and the rig has been re-located in the North Falkland Basin to drill further wells for Rockhopper Exploration and Desire Petroleum. The Toroa well is a milestone in Falkands offshore exploration, being the first well to be drilled in this under-explored area and BHPB now have a wealth of geological data, that is also supplied to the Falkland Islands Government (FIG), available for analysis. The results from this work will influence where future activities will be focused in the basin. The team from BHPB were excellent to work with while based in Stanely.
Rockhopper Exploration spudded their Ernest well (26/06-1) in licence area PL024 on 23rd July and have announced that the well did not encounter any oil shows. The well has been safely plugged and abandoned This was another “first”; the first well to be drilled in the southern part of the North Falkland Basin and the data will be of huge benefit to the understanding of the geology in this area and will assist companies in deciding where to drill future wells.
The Ocean Guardian has moved to Rockhopper Exploration’s Sea Lion well, (14/10-B) that was drilled in April/May where hydrocarbons were encountered, resulting in the well being suspended for re-entry and testing. After testing, the well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The current programme includes anchoring up, re-entering the well, drilling through cement cores and locating the hydrocarbon intervals, testing and plugging the well, is anticipated to last 25-35 days. Actual flaring of hydrocarbons is likely to last less than 48 hours. These are encouraging steps but there is no guarantee that the well will produce commercial hydrocarbons until more appraisal wells are drilled and further analysis is carried out over the following months and years to establish the economic viability of the field.
After the drill stem test on the Sea Lion prospect, the rig will be contracted by Desire Petroleum and their Rachel structure will be drilled which is located south of Sea Lion in licence PL004.
2. HSE inspector’s visit
Two Health and Safety Executive inspectors visited the Islands and spent two days on the Ocean Guardian in late June. They carried out an inspection of rig operations on behalf of FIG. The visit was constructive and positive for all involved and the inspectors also had an opportunity to brief front line emergency response officers in FIG about reporting procedures in the event of a H&S incident that requires investigation.
3. Argos Resources Limited: Listing on AIM
Congratulations are due to the team at Argos Resources following their successful listing of the company on London’s stock exchange, AIM. The company now plan to conduct a 3D seismic survey over their acreage (Licence PL001) where two wells have already been drilled, that encountered hydrocarbons, from the drilling round in 1998. New seismic data will equip the company in de-risking drillable prospects. Argos Resources have established an office in Argos House, here in Stanley.
4. Oil Industry visitors
Rockhopper Exploration’s Managing Director, Sam Moody, visited Stanley in late June. During his week here he briefed FIG and elected members on his company’s plans and facilitated a presentation on drill stem testing for Mineral Resources Committee members. Director of Desire Petroleum, Bob Lyons spent time in Stanley in late July and early August in preparation for when the company resumes drilling activities later this year. Fellow director, Ian Duncan and chairman Stephen Phipps also plan to visit the Islands at the beginning of October.
5. Department Activities
Dr Phil Richards, FIG’s consultant from BGS, conducted three days of workshops on petroleum geology and oil exploration for the general public during a visit in early June. The workshops were attended by over 50 people.