African Petroleum enters first renewal period offshore Senegal licence

offshore-senegal 2African Petroleum’s subsidiary African Petroleum Senegal Limited has received approval for the first renewal period on Senegal Offshore Sud Profond (SOSP) licence

Earlier, Senegal’s national oil company Petrosen had agreed to defer the existing well commitment by 18 months to allow further technical work by African Petroleum Senegal Limited prior to drilling.

The initial exploration period on SOSP had expired on 2 November 2014, with African Petroleum Senegal Limited having acquired 3,600 sq km of 3D seismic data, purchasing 2,000 sq km of 2D seismic data, processing and interpreting both datasets and investing more than US$21mn in the licence.

The first renewal period is expected to begin with effect from 15 December 2014, for a three-year period and split into two 18-month sub-periods.

The first sub-period required the company to carry out further technical work over SOSP and the second sub-period, should the company elect to enter into, would require the drilling of an exploration well. In accordance with the terms of the licence, African Petroleum Senegal Limited has relinquished 30 per cent of SOSP upon entering into the agreement.

African Petroleum Senegal Limited CEO Stuart Lake said, “The entering of the next phase on licence SOSP demonstrates our commitment to our operations in Senegal. In addition, the deferral of the well obligation in SOSP until after June 2016 allows the company time to leverage learning from the two recent significant oil discoveries by Cairn Energy in nearby acreage, and complete seismic reprocessing and interpretation over the licence area prior to drilling our first exploration well.”

According to the independent explorer, SOSP has significant potential for both deep-water submarine fans and shelf edge platform plays, both of which have recently been proven in nearby acreage by the Cairn Energy operated wells FAN-1 and SNE-1.

It has also proposed pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) over the licence area to improve definition of the material prospects identified through technical work to date. The forward programme, agreed with Petrosen, provided an opportunity to analyse the data fully prior to making a commitment to drill the exploration well in the second sub-period of the first renewal period.

African Petroleum operates ten licences in five countries offshore West Africa.

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