Cairn Energy seeks permission to drill offshore Senegal

offshore senegal-tsuda flickrCairn Energy and its joint venture partners have submitted a three-year evaluation work plan to the government of Senegal that includes an initial programme of three-optional wells, with drilling starting Q4 2015 offshore Senegal focused on the acreage around SNE-1 discovery well

The firm three-well programme is currently planned to include two appraisal wells of the SNE-1 discovery, which will core and test the reservoir, as well as one shelf exploration well. There will also be a 2,000 sq km 3D seismic data acquisition campaign over the Sangomar and Rufisque Blocks to help fully map the prospectivity of the contract area.

The UK-headquartered explorer has estimated that the existing two discoveries and the currently identified prospects and leads have an estimated mean risked resource base of more than 1bn barrels.

Cairn Energy chief executive Simon Thomson said, “Cairn Energy made two significant discoveries offshore Senegal in 2014 proving a hydrocarbon system in a new and emerging Atlantic Margin Basin. We are excited about the exploration and appraisal opportunity of this world class asset. We have now submitted a three year evaluation work plan to the Government of Senegal which is designed to lay the foundation for a long term multi-field, multi-phase exploitation plan. Our focus will be to add value in Senegal within a balanced, well funded company.”

The Ocean Rig Athena, a seventh generation dual activity drillship, has been selected for the drilling programme. The rig is currently contracted to ConocoPhillips in Angola. Cairn Energy said that it is in the final stages of working with its joint venture partners to finalise the rig contract and associated support services.

A work programme and budget for the three optional wells will be presented to joint venture partners in Q3 2015. Targets for these wells will be drawn from a combination of further evaluation of the SNE-1 discovery, additional exploration in the shelf region, and exploration in the acreage around FAN-1 well. Drilling plans for these wells will be subject to ongoing FAN studies and the results of the first three firm wells.

According to company sources, there is substantial prospectivity across all three of its blocks and to date at least five prospects and eighteen leads have been identified and continue to be matured to drillable status.

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