EXCLUSIVE: Edinburgh-registered oil company finds new oil field in Falkland Islands


Premier Oil's new Falkland Islands oil discovery
Premier Oil’s new Falkland Islands oil discovery

Scottish Energy News EXCLUSIVE report

An Edinburgh registered oil company and its partners have found substantial new oil and gas reserves in the South Atlantic off the Falkland Islands.

The Falkland Islands Government welcomed the announcement by Premier Oil and partners that the 14/15b-5 ‘Zebedee’ exploration well has been declared an oil and gas discovery following the completion of its evaluation programme. Zebedee is the first well of the six-well drilling campaign planned to take place in Falkland Islands waters through 2015.

Falkland Islands Jan Cheek, Member of the Legislative Assembly
Jan Cheek

Falkland Islands MP Jan Cheek, portfolio holder for Mineral Resources, (pictured left) “We congratulate Premier and their partners on this early success, which provides an excellent start to the 2015 exploration programme. The Zebedee discovery identifies additional resources that could form part of subsequent phases of the Sea Lion field development.”

Andrew Lodge, Exploration Director of Premier Oil, which is registered in Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to announce the discoveries in the Hector and Zebedee fans, which extend the play fairway further south from Sea Lion and the satellites.

“They will add further resource to future phases of development in the area. We now look forward to the results of the upcoming Isobel Deep well, potentially the highest impact well in this campaign.”

The Zebedee well (14/15b-5) in PL004b (in which Premier  has a 36% ownership stake) discovered 81 feet of net oil-bearing reservoir and 55 feet of net gas-bearing reservoir.

The well penetrated multiple targets in the Cretaceous F2 and F3 formations with a total hydrocarbon net pay of 136 feet. The pay is primarily located within two F2 sands:

  • The Hector sand, which contains 55 feet of net gas pay.
  • The Zebedee sand, which contains 79 feet of net oil pay. No oil-water contact was observed in Zebedee.

The reservoir at both the Hector and Zebedee intervals is of good quality and the above results are in line with prognosis. Good oil shows were recorded at the deeper F3 targets but at this location the sands are not well developed.

The well will now be plugged and abandoned as a successful exploration well. The Eirik Raude rig will then drill the first exploration test of the Elaine/Isobel fan complex in the southern part of the North Falkland Basin with the Isobel Deep well. The results of this well are expected in late April.

Based near Oxford Street, London, the Falkland Oil and Gas Co, has a 40% stake in the well. Tim Bushell, Chief executive, said: “The Zebedee reservoir is better developed than anticipated in FOGL’s reservoir models and this will positively impact resource estimates. The Hector reservoir, which has not been drilled previously, has been proven to have very good properties.

“In addition to the gas discovered in Hector in the well, the flank of the Hector reservoir may have potential for additional oil resources.

“This is an excellent result and one that adds significantly to the proven hydrocarbon resources of licence PL004b and the greater Sea Lion area. This well further confirms the extension of the Sea Lion discovery and associated reservoirs into PL004b, which have now been demonstrated to contain a significant proportion of the total field resources.

“We look forward to continuing to work withour partners to progress development of the substantial oil and gas resources within PL004b.”

Stephen Luxton, Director of Mineral Resources at the Falkland Islands government, said: “We have been working closely with Premier Oil to take forward development of the Sea Lion field and look forward to the existing productive working relationship continuing through project sanction to first oil production.”

“We welcome the participation and investment of international oil companies in the opportunities for oil and gas exploration and development in Falkland Islands waters.

“Mobilisation for the forthcoming exploration programme commencing in early 2015 is already underway, and FIG has received the first submissions from operators seeking the required regulatory approvals to commence drilling. FIG continues to be committed to regulating offshore oil and gas exploration and production to North Sea standards for safety and environmental protection.

Falkland Islands oil and gas terminal at Port Stanley
Falkland Islands oil and gas terminal at Port Stanley

The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory and comprise some 340 islands, located approximately 300 miles from the nearest point in South America. The two largest islands are East and West Falkland. Stanley, the capital, lies on the eastern shore of East Falkland. The total land area covers approximately 12,000 sq.km.

The islands have no indigenous population and the current population of approximately 3,000 is predominantly of British descent, most of whom live in Stanley, the only town.

More than 900 UK service men were killed in military battles with Argentine forces for control of the islands in 1983.The Falklands remain a ‘live but presently inactive’ volcano-issue between the UK and Argentina.

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