San Francisco: British company Premier Oil has discovered oil offshore the Falkland Islands at the 14/20-1 Isobel Deep well in the North Falkland Basin, the firm announced on Friday.
The quality of the crude at Isobel Deep, Premier’s second exploration well this year off the Falklands, is similar to that at its first, Sea Lion.
Analysts had given Isobel Deep only a 20% chance of striking oil.
Isobel Deep, being drilled by the Eirik Raude rig, is the second well of a six-well offshore campaign planned to take place in Falklands’ waters throughout this year.
Last month (April) drilling at Isobel Deep was suspended for a few days to fix a problem on the blowout preventer (BOP).
The start of offshore exploration by British and American companies in recent months has aggravated Argentinian sensibilities. Argentina disputes sovereignty over the Falkland Islands with Britain – the two nations fought a three-month war over the issue in 1982, with Britain sending a naval task force and expelling an Argentinian occupying force.
Now Argentina has opened lawsuits against some of the firms involved, saying they are operating without Argentine licensing.
While Premier Oil considers data on the new discovery, the drilling rig Eirik Raude is being released to drill in the South Falkland Basin.