Rockhopper has announced that following a number of operational issues with the rig, its Chatham well has been deferred - it will now be explored during the pre-development drilling at Sea Lion. Although unfortunate, the well deferral does not affect the planning or timetable for Sea Lion phase 1a, where the FEED contract for SURF transport and installation was awarded to Subsea7 on 11 February. The Sea Lion field development should create material value, and the recent discovery of the Isobel Deep/Elaine complex holds potential of over 500mmboe. Moving to our new, lower oil price assumptions, and accounting for the deferral of Chatham, lowers our core NAV to 80p/share (RENAV is 94p/share), which still represents notable upside from the current share price. We note that the recent news on Ombrina Mare (where drilling is now not possible due to a change in Italian regulations) is a blow to longer-term potential but is outside the timescale of our 18-month RENAV.

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