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Noble Energy (NBL) Expands Footprint in Falkland Islands - Analyst Blog

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Independent energy company, Noble Energy, Inc. NBL announced that it has obtained a 75% interest and operatorship of the PL001 License in the North Falkland Basin from Argos Resources Limited, an oil and gas exploration company based in the Falkland Islands.

The remaining 25% of the PL001 License has been acquired by Edison International SpA, an Italy-based provider of natural gas and hydrocarbon exploration and production services.

Situated to the northwest of the PL032 License that includes the Sea Lion oil discovery, the PL001 License covers an area of nearly 285,000 gross acres. Noble Energy and Edison will provide a 5% royalty override from all hydrocarbon development on the license to Argos Resources.

Houston, TX-based Noble Energy has initially targeted the Rhea prospect on the PL001 License. Rhea is a Cretaceous-aged prospect having multiple reservoir targets and total estimated gross mean unrisked resource potential of over 250 million barrels of oil (bbl). Drilling of this prospect is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2015. The water depth at the drilling site is roughly 1,550 feet and the targeted total well depth is 8,760 feet.

Located in the Fitzroy sub-basin of the Southern Area License, Humpback is the company’s initial operated Falkland Islands prospect. Noble Energy expects to commence drilling in this prospect early in May 2015.

Humpback has estimated gross mean unrisked resources of more than 250 million bbl. The water depth is at approximately 4,170 feet and the depth of drilling target is set at 17,550 feet. Noble Energy has a 35% interest in the South Falkland Basin.

Noble Energy is focused on exploiting fresh exploration prospects in both the U.S. as well as international locations. In 2014, Noble Energy added total proved reserves of 141 MMBoe, which included extensions, discoveries and revisions. These additions replaced approximately 1.3 times 2014 production.

Noble Energy’s expanding acreage in the Falkland Islands along with its other offshore drilling ventures in Nicaragua, Sierra Leone and Gabon will give it opportunities to discover extensive new resources.

Zacks Rank

Noble Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas space are Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. ARP, Callon Petroleum Company CPE and Eclipse Resources Corporation ECR. All three stocks currently have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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