Darwin delays for Borders & Southern

Darwin prospect: Drilling operations did not evolve as planned

Borders & Southern Petroleum said Friday that drilling at its Darwin prospect in the Falkland Islands would take another four to five weeks in the wake of technical problems.

The UK-listed firm said on 3 February it had spud the first of two probes in the area with Ocean Rig’s semi-submersible Leiv Eriksson, a project that was initially scheduled to wrap up this week.

“Operations are currently on-going and the drilling of the well has gone according to design,” Borders & Southern said in a statement. “Progress was stalled due to some technical issues with rig equipment. The rig issues have been addressed and the well is again progressing in accordance with the design.”

Following the 61/17-1 well, the rig was to move onto a second prospect called Stebbing before drilling other Falklands wells.

A Tavistock Communications spokesman speaking on behalf of Ocean Rig said drilling at the Stebbing prospect would continue following the completion of the present well.

When asked, he did not elaborate on the nature of the technical problems or disclose how far the drilling had progressed.

Ocean Rig did not respond to a message left for comment for a spokesman on further details.

The wellsite is about 140 kilometres south of the islands, which have been at the center of a long and bitter sovereignty dispute between Britain and Argentina.

The announcement comes a day after Argentina vowed to take legal action against companies involved in oil exploration in the islands, seen as a push to pressure Britain into talks on the issue.

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