Cairn outlines offshore northwest Africa deepwater drilling schedule

Offshore staff

EDINBURGH, UK – Cairn Energy (LON:CNE) expects the semisubmersible Cajun Express to start drilling offshore Morocco next month.

The first well will test a slope fan prospect (A) on the Foum Draa block (Cairn operates with a 50% interest). The main target is a late Jurassic/early Cretaceous deepwater turbidite fan, the oldest objectives penetrated by any deepwater well along this margin, Cairn says.

Prospective resources in the “A” prospect as defined by 3D seismic are estimated at 142 MMbbl, with many other drilling prospects mapped on the block.

The rig’s second well will probably be on the Juby Maritime III block (Cairn 37.5%, operator), targeting a mid-Jurassic carbonate prospect 1,000 m (3,280 ft) below the 1969 Cap Juby heavy-oil discovery in the upper Jurassic.

After completion of this program, and subject to approvals, Cairn aims to start drilling the first of two planned wells offshore Senegal to the south.

One well will be on the North Fan prospect in 1,500 m (4,921 ft) water depth, targeting multiple stacked structural and stratigraphic closures interpreted as trapping potential clastic and carbonate reservoirs. Cairn estimates that the two largest could hold resources of 282 MMbbl and 535 MMbbl, respectively.

The well will likely be drilled on a shelf edge prospect in 1,100 m (3,609 ft) of water, targeting Cretaceous clastics and deeper karstified and fractured lower Cretaceous shelf carbonates. These two targets could respectively hold 182 MMbbl and 256 MMbbl.

In the second half of 2014, after comleting the Senegal commitment, Cairn proposes to drill the 3.15-Bboe Pitu prospect offshore Greenland.

Offshore eastern Spain, Cairn has licenses extending more than 3,175 sq km (1,226 sq mi) in the Valencia basin. It has also submitted applications in the Gulf of Lion off the Catalonian coast to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.


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