Rockhopper set to invest £1.3bn in Falklands plan

BRITISH oil group Rockhopper Exploration has unveiled plans for a $2bn (£1.3bn) investment in the Falkland Islands, a move which will transform the remote territory into a new oil province.

The emergence of the British-governed territory as an oil producer will likely stoke tensions with Argentina, which 30 years ago fought a war against Britain for control of the islands, over which it still claims sovereignty.

Rockhopper said yesterday it expected to start pumping oil in 2016 from the Sea Lion discovery made in 2010 and production would ramp up to a maximum of around 120,000 barrels of oil per day by 2018.

Rockhopper said its reserves, which it estimated at around 350m barrels of recoverable oil, were large enough for a development, having spent recent months drilling a series of test wells to establish the size of the oil field.