Rockhopper was established in 2004 with a strategy to invest in and undertake an offshore oil exploration programme in the North Falkland Basin. It was floated on AIM in August 2005. Rockhopper was the first company to make a commercial oil discovery in the Falklands. Today Rockhopper is the largest acreage holder in the North Falkland Basin and also has interests in the Greater Mediterranean region.

Rockhopper timeline

Sea Lion Phase 1:

  • FEED completed
  • Preparation ongoing for submission of senior debt funding application
  • Process to progress contractor LOIs to full agreements well advanced

Ombrina Mare arbitration hearing took place in February 2019

Successful start to Abu Sennan drilling campaign

Field Development Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Lion substantially agreed with the Falkland Islands Government with final approval expected at sanction

Good progress made with the Falkland Islands Government on Sea Lion royalty and fiscal terms

Financing structure for Sea Lion development progressed with agreement from contractors to provide up to US$400 million of funding for the project


Rockhopper commences international arbitration proceedings, seeking very significant monetary damages, as a result of the Republic of Italy’s breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty in relation to the Ombrina Mare project.

In late 2017 and early 2018, Letters of Intent were signed with a number of key contractors for the provision of services and vendor financing for the Sea Lion project.

Sea Lion project enters FEED with set of world-class contractors.

Rockhopper completes merger with Falkland Oil & Gas following shareholder approval from both Rockhopper and FOGL shareholders.

In August, Rockhopper completes the acquisition of a portfolio of production and exploration assets in Egypt.


In March, the Eirik Raude rig arrives in the North Falkland Basin to commence a multi-well drilling campaign. Exploration successes at Zebedee and Isobel Deep with multiple oil discoveries made.

In November, Rockhopper announced the terms of its all-share merger with Falkland Oil & Gas. Through the merger with FOGL, Rockhopper consolidates its leading acreage and resource position in the North Falkland Basin.


In May, Rockhopper announced a recommended cash and share offer to acquire AIM listed Mediterranean Oil & Gas plc. The transaction completed in August. Through the acquisition Rockhopper acquired a portfolio of production, development, appraisal and exploration interests in Italy, Malta and France.

In November, and in response to a significant reduction in the global price for oil, Rockhopper and Premier announce a lower cost, phased development concept for Sea Lion.

MOG logo

Rockhopper consolidates its interests in the Falklands through the farm-in to acreage held by Desire Petroleum. As a result, Rockhopper increases its interests in licences PL004a, PL004b and PL004c to 24%.

In July, Rockhopper announced it had entered into a farm-out agreement with Premier Oil plc (“Premier”), whereby Premier acquired a 60% operated interest in Rockhopper’s North Falkland Basin licences for undiscounted consideration of c.$1bn (comprising cash, development carry and exploration carry).

In recognition of Rockhopper’s unrivalled understanding of the North Falkland Basin, it was agreed that Rockhopper would retain the sub-surface lead in relation to future exploration activities.

Premier Oil logo

Following the successful flow test in late 2010 a further eight exploration and appraisal wells were drilled by Rockhopper across the complex, six of those being discoveries.

In addition, Rockhopper participated in a further five non-operated wells.

In February, the Ocean Guardian drilling rig arrived in Falklands waters to carry out a multi-well programme on behalf of multiple operators. In the spring, Rockhopper (as operator) drilled its first exploration well on the Sea Lion prospect which resulted in an oil discovery. The well was successfully flow tested in September.

Sea Lion Discovery

Founded in 2004 by Richard Visick with co-founder Sam Moody. Admitted to AIM during 2005 with Board Directors Pierre Jungels as Executive Chairman, Sam Moody as Managing Director, Peter Dixon-Clarke as part-time Finance Director, Keith Williams as part-time Exploration Director. Additionally David Bodecott as part-time consultant.

Acquired licences PL023, 24, 32, & 33 100% as Operator and farmed in to Desire Petroleum licences PL003 & PL004 for a 7.5% interest.

Operated two 2D surveys, a 3D survey, two CSEM surveys and various EIA & benthic surveys. Raised sufficient additional capital in late 2009 to share the Ocean Guardian drilling rig with Desire Petroleum to drill two firm wells on the Sea Lion & Ernest prospects.