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Desire Petroleum find oil in Falklands

Oilfield Technology,

Desire Petroleum plc the oil and gas company wholly focussed on the North Falkland Basin, has drilled the 14/15-2 Rachel North well down to a total depth of 3052 m where it is thought to have struck oil.

Preliminary data collected has indicated that this well is an oil discovery. The company has run an initial suite of wireline logs and this together with the drilling data indicate that the well encountered a 349 m gross interval from 2621 m to 2970 m of sands and shales with hydrocarbons, of which 57 m is net pay in multiple zones.

Desire now intends to complete the wireline logging and wireline sampling programme to obtain more information on the reservoir quality, the hydrocarbon saturations and the fluid type to assess the significance of this discovery. Further information will be released in due course.

The announcement has seen Desire Petroleum’s share rise by more than 46%. Rockhopper Exploration also made a discovery in May, showing that the region may yet hold the estimated 4 billion barrels of oil that were predicted by a US geological survey.

Commenting on the well, Stephen Phipps Chairman of Desire said, "It is highly encouraging that the initial results from the Rachel North well endorse both our findings and geological model from the previously drilled Rachel sidetrack well. This discovery combined with Rockhopper's Sea Lion discovery confirms our belief that the eastern flank play fairway in the North Falkland Basin is highly prospective and that further oil fields will be discovered in this area".

It is not known if the oil is commercially viable yet but the discovery of oil can only serve to inflame the sovereignty issue between the British Government and Argentina, which led to war in 1982. The issue of ownership of the Falklands is very convoluted and it has passed hands from the French, Spanish and British at different times. The very name ‘Isla Malvinas’ as the Falklands are known in Argentina, derives from the name given to it by the first French colonists.

Argentina has already restricted shipping to the Falkland and requires ships to obtain a permit to pass through Argentinean waters to the Falklands. The only effect of this so far has been to deny the islanders supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables. If Argentina continues to put pressure on Britain and further restricts shipping in the area then it may just force the development of port facilities in the Falklands at the expense of the it’s own ports potential revenue streams.

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