BRITISH oil explorer Rockhopper said it expected its Sea Lion well in the Falkland Islands to be commercially viable, raising hopes that the remote territory will become a new oil province.
“Following this positive result we believe Sea Lion is highly likely to prove commercially viable,” Rockhopper chief executive Sam Moody said.
“The well has confirmed our ability to identify good reservoir units on the seismic in our acreage with the sands coming in very close to prognosis,” he added.
Rockhopper said it would continue to appraise the Sea Lion discovery and to explore additional opportunities in the region.
The Sea Lion well is the first oil find in the British-governed Falkland Islands.
The drilling has sparked protests from Argentina, which claims sovereignty over the Islands it calls the Malvinas and which lie 300 miles from its shore.
In December, Aim-listed oil explorer Desire Petroleum said it had failed to find oil in a prospective well off the Falkland Islands, admitting instead the well was full of water.
Shares in Rockhopper closed up 37.33 per cent at 298p. Desire Petroleum was up 8.84 per cent at 40p.