The recent drilling campaign began in March 2015 utilising the semi-submersible rig Eirik Raude, and was completed following termination of the rig contract in February 2016. Premier Oil, who took over operatorship of the Sea Lion discovery, drilled two wells in the North Falkland Basin (Zebedee and Isobel Deep), both of which were oil discoveries. They later drilled the Isobel/Elaine prospect to confirm the extent of the Isobel discovery.
Noble Energy and their partners Falkland Oil and Gas and Edison plugged and abandoned the Humpback well in the Falkland Plateau Basin after encountering oil in non-commercial quantities.
Premier Oil recently scaled back field development plans for Sea Lion, the first phase of which is predicted to produce first oil in 2020. It is anticipated that development of the field will be phased, with initial development of only the northern part of the field complex. The second phase of development will include the southern part of the Sea Lion field, associated satellite discoveries such as Casper, Casper South and Beverley, together with any new discoveries that are made before development starts.
The penultimate drilling campaign finished in 2012, please see the Exploration History
section for a reprisal of the 2010-12 drilling campaign.
Initial engineering and commercial scoping studies have been conducted by Borders and Southern Petroleum on the Darwin gas-condensate discovery in the South Falkland Basin. They aim to demonstrate that the 200 million barrel discovery is commercially viable by proving the resource estimates through appraisal drilling and well testing allied to a future exploration drilling programme in the basin.
Four new 3D seismic surveys covering parts of the Falkland Plateau Basin and the South Falkland Basin have been undertaken since 2012.
Licence holdings continue to evolve as a result of various company farm-ins to existing licences and due to statutory scheduled relinquishments.