UK based Rockhopper Exploration has signed a contract for marine seismic acquisition services with Polarcus for the use of the seismic vessel MV Polarcus Asima.

Under the contract, Rockhopper will acquire a 3D seismic survey over areas of licences PL032 and PL033 in the Falkland Islands, which were not previously defined by 3D, as well as adjacent areas.

The vessel will be available to commence the seismic survey by early January 2011, and the time required to shoot the survey within the licence area is estimated to be approximately 50 days.

A contract to process the acquired data will be the subject of a separate invitation to tender, which will be issued shortly, the company said.

Monarch Geophysical Services has been retained to provide specialist acquisition and processing supervision throughout the 3D seismic project.

Argos Resources has simultaneously signed an identical contract with Polarcus, allowing Argos and Rockhopper to share the vessel for acquiring seismic data in each company’s adjacent licences and other areas.

Rockhopper carries out an offshore oil exploration program to the north of the Falkland Islands.