Cairn, partners consider FPSO for offshore Senegal

Offshore staff

MELBOURNE, AustraliaFAR Ltd. and its joint venture partners ConocoPhillips, operator Cairn Energy, and Petrosen (the government of Senegal) are eying an FPSO to develop the SNE-1 and FAN-1 oil discoveries offshore Senegal. These were the first exploration wells to be drilled in the deepwater off Senegal and the first to be drilled offshore Senegal for 26 years.

The work program includes two wells to appraise the SNE-1 discovery and one exploration well likely to assess a shelf prospect. The program will also include further evaluation of the FAN-1 discovery and a new 3D seismic survey over a part of the contract area, including parts of the Sangomar and Rufisque blocks. It is planned to start in 4Q 2015.

FAR Ltd. says that SNE is considered to the more attractive discovery for early evaluation and will be the initial focus of the joint venture’s evaluation work program.

Exploration wells are expected to focus initially on shelf prospects. Such prospects have the potential to contribute to building a larger resource base for an initial development project. The operator estimates the minimum economic volume for a tieback development to be approximately 75 MMbbl within a 25 km (15 mi) radius.

The development concept outlined by operator for a SNE field development consists of a standalone FPSO facility hub with potential to integrate nearby discoveries. Gas re-injection and/or water flood is also contemplated. The minimum economic field size for a standalone development is estimated by Cairn to be approximately 200 MMbbl.

The SNE discovery, in the Albian sands, was the second in the two well exploration program undertaken in 2014, with the gross, operator’s best estimate contingent resource estimated at 330 MMbbl. FAN-1 was the first well drilled in the Senegal drilling program.  

The FAN-1 well is situated approximately 100 km (62 mi) west of the Senegal coast and drilled in 1,428 m (4,685 ft) of water to the west of the shelf break. The FAN-1 well encountered a gross 500 m (1,642 ft) interval, over which oil shows were observed and samples were collected.

Cairn continues work on finding an appropriate rig for the evaluation program.


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