Strange that when one company has had no success with finding any economically extractable oil and interest and investment is waning in an area that is difficult to drill......a company MIGHT have found oil. There is a strong aroma of bull waste here. Even if there is oil there, it is very expensive to lift out and transport to refineries. Oil would need to be considerably more than $120/barrel to make economic sense.
For a country built on coal and surrounded by oil the benefits have been somewhat muted.
There was a series of TV advertisments about 'discovering' Ireland; quite good tongue in cheek stuff like "this bridge was first discovered by Mr and Mrs Smith on the second day of their holiday". This 'discovery' that Rockhopper are claiming is in that same vein, being that it was previously and originally discovered by Shell a good ten years ago.
There is a bit more than penguin droppings there. In terms of mineral wealth, there is definitive evidence of gold and diamonds; certainly enough to make a detailed survey worth while. With respect to oil and gas deposits, the last survey suggested that the fields could be as big as those in the North Sea (50 to 60 billion barrels). None of this is secret or new, the information has been published by the British Geological Survey over the last twelve years or so. The reason nothing further happened was that at the time oil prices were too low to make it economically viable. Well oil prices have more than doubled since then and drilling and extraction technology has advanced significantly. Hence Rockhopper's involvement. Its a gamble absolutley, which is probably why the big boys have left it to the likes of Rockhopper, but the prize is huge.