NICE - APPEX Regional 2015

Falkland Islands: Summary of Past Exploration, Current Activities & Future Potential

The Falkland Islands traditionally have a reputation as a difficult frontier region for hydrocarbon exploration. Despite this reputation, the recent rate of successful exploration wells has been much higher than the usual 1 in 10 success rate, typical for frontier basins. The 2010-2012 drilling campaign yielded 8 oil and gas discoveries in 21 wells across three distinct basins. The main highlight of that campaign was Sea Lion, an oil discovery which lies in the failed rift of the North Falkland Basin, and is due to come into production in 2019. Additionally a significant gas condensate discovery, Darwin, was found in the South Falkland Basin, is currently undergoing planning for appraisal. The South Falkland Basin is characterised by rotated fault blocks comprised of Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous strata, but also has potential for anticlinal traps along its southern margin. Furthermore there is additional exploration potential in the East Falkland Basin. Potential targets here are shelf edge stratigraphic plays, but as of yet only minor gas shows have been reported from the two wells drilled there.

Another campaign of six wells is currently underway and has already identified two more oil discoveries in the North Falkland Basin. This relatively high degree of success can be attributed to a highly collaborative network of exploration companies and a synergistic relationship with the regulators.

This presentation will provide a brief update on recent exploration activity, a review of the key structures and play types, and potential for future exploration.

About the Speaker

Dave McCarthy is a new member of the Regional Hydrocarbon Prospectivity group at the British Geological Survey (BGS). Dr. Mc Carthy holds a first class BSc in Geology and a PhD in Structural Geology, both awarded by University College Cork. His research interests vary from the development of fold and thrust belts to the role of basement structures in basin evolution. Since joining the BGS, Dave has focused on both the hydrocarbon potential and tectonic evolution of the South Falkland Basin.

Exploration and Production Opportunities spanning the Atlantic Margin