The company has run a suite of wireline logs and logging data collected thus far indicate that the well has encountered a 150 metre gross interval of sand and shales. The data show that the well has 53mt of net pay distributed in multiple pay zones, the thickest of which has a net pay of 25mt. These pay zones have an average porosity of 19%.

Rockhopper now intends to collect additional logging information prior to making a decision whether to plug and abandon the well, or to suspend the well for future testing. The company is also considering whether to drill an appraisal well on Sea Lion later during the current drilling campaign.

The company intends to drill the Ernest prospect in the fourth slot of the overall Falklands Drilling program.

Samuel Moody, managing director of Rockhopper Exploration, said: “We are extremely excited by the results of this well. While we are presently acquiring additional data, current indications are that we have made the first oil discovery in the North Falkland Basin.

“We will now focus on analyzing in more detail the data gathered from the well, in addition to continuing preparations for the drilling of our Ernest prospect later in the year.”