A further boost for the fortunes of Rockhopper Exploration PLC in a report out today. The company has upgraded its estimates and said that new seismic data indicates that its Sea Lion discovery in the North basin could extend 90 square kilometers further than previously thought. The discovery also appears to extend to license PL004, operated by Desire Petroleum PLC.
Rockhopper raised its lower case estimate to 608 million barrels of oil from a previous figure of 516 million.
Using the company’s mid-case estimate of resources at the Sea Lion discovery and based on a recovery factor of 30 percent, this suggests that more than 325 million barrels of oil could be produced from the field.
Chief Executive Sam Moody said, ” We are highly encouraged by the interpretation of new seismic data which identifies both significant reservoir extension and the existence of two additional fan prospects above and beneath the Sea Lion Main Complex.”
The two additional prospects have been named Caspar and Kermit and may hold significant reserves. A further appraisal well is now being planned.
Rockhopper is one of a number of explorers drilling in waters off the coast of the British-governed Falkland Islands. Other explorers seeking oil around the Islands include Argos Resources Ltd., Borders and Southern Petroleum PLC and Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd.
Argentina claims sovereignty over the area and is protesting the drilling by forbidding vessels to load cargo at its ports.
The Falkland Islands Government has said that no Argentine company will be given a license
Shares in Rockhopper closed at 217.8 pence on Friday, valuing the company at 562.5 million pounds ($915 million).