Desire Petroleum

Desire Petroleum plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSE:DES
Industry Hydrocarbon exploration
Founded 1996
Founder Colin Phipps
Headquarters Malvern, England
Key people
Dr Ian Duncan
(Chief Executive)
Services Oil exploration and production
Profit -£1.47m (2008)
Website Desire Petroleum

Desire Petroleum plc (LSE:DES) is an oil and gas exploration company headquartered in Malvern, England. It owns offshore exploration and production licences in the North Falkland Basin in the waters north of the Falkland Islands and its core focus is to develop the basin into a major new hydrocarbon province.

Desire Petroleum is listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.


Desire Petroleum was founded in 1996 by Dr Colin Phipps, a former geologist for Royal Dutch Shell. The company is named after Desire, the ship, captained by John Davis, which discovered the Falkland Islands in 1592. In 1998 the company was floated on the Alternative Investment Market.

Desire Petroleum were awarded licences for drilling in the Falklands in 1997, and test drilling was carried out in 1998. Oil was not found in commercial quantities, and the price of oil, until 2007-8 was not high enough to make it viable, and exploration companies left the area. A 3D seismic survey was acquired in 2004 which showed great oil potential.

2010-11 drilling programme

In February 2010 Desire began a programme of exploratory drilling, with costs shared by farming out drilling slots to Rockhopper Exploration (of Salisbury, Wiltshire) and Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd, in the North Falkland Basin. In the northern section of the basin this covers the prospects of Rachel, Kath, Pam, Ann, Anna, Liz, South Orca, Ninky, Beth, Jayne and Helen. In the southern section are Dawn, Alpha, Kate, Ruth and Barbara.

Entrance to Mathon Court, headquarters of Desire Petroleum

The first well was categorised as a gas discovery,[1] with one other gas event and two sets of oil shows encountered. Stock market disappointment that the first well was not an immediate commercial discovery of oil led to an immediate slump in share price, though Desire continue to analyse the data gathered in order to assist with the remainder of the drilling programme.

The second well, drilling for partner company Rockhopper Exploration, was an oil discovery which further confirmed the geological model for the North Falkland Basin for Desire and Rockhopper's remaining prospects.[2]

The drilling programme is anticipated to run to ten exploration wells.

The company has now been sold to Falkland Oil and Gas[3] for £61million (update needed).


  1. Desire Petroleum announcement 6 April 2010
  2. Tom McIvor (5 December 2013). "Falkland Oil & Gas Acquisition Of Desire Petroleum Now Effective". Retrieved 16 December 2013.

External links

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