Ocean Rig Athena in Senegal to drill appraisal wells

Drillship Christopher GrinerThe drilling programme includes two appraisal wells and one shelf exploration well. (Image source: Christopher Griner)The Ocean Rig Athena drill ship has reached Senegal from Angola, for the appraisal and exploration drilling programme in highly prospective blocks offshore Senegal

The SNE field, which was discovered in late 2014 and ranked by IHS CERA as the world’s largest oil discovery for the year, will be appraised with the first two wells in the three well drilling programme. A key aim of the appraisal programme is to prove the threshold economic field size which FAR Limited (FAR), one of the JV partners, estimates at about 200 mmbbl for a foundation project.

The firm drilling programme will include coring and testing, two appraisal wells for SNE (SNE-2 and SNE-3) plus one shelf exploration well (BEL-1) to further evaluate the shelf area prospectivity. The drilling, logging, coring and testing of the three wells is expected to be completed by mid-2016.

BEL-1 will be the first exploration well to be drilled in the blocks following the discoveries in the FAN-1 and SNE-1 wells. It will be drilled into the Bellatrix Prospect which has been mapped by FAR to contain 168 mmbbl of oil on a gross, unrisked, prospective resource basis with 25 mmbbl net to FAR. Following the discovery of the SNE field on the shelf, FAR has assigned a 49 per cent chance of geological success to the Bellatrix prospect. The well will be deepened to appraise the northern extent of the SNE field, giving it a key, dual role in the overall drilling programme.

Cath Norman, managing director of FAR, said, “FAR looks forward to the commencement of our appraisal of the SNE field and building value through the drill bit over the coming months.”

The Senegal JV comprises of FAR Limited (15 per cent), Cairn Energy (operator with 40 per cent), ConocoPhillips (35 per cent) and Petrosen (10 per cent).

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