Senegal wells to assess potential of SNE discovery

Offshore staff

MELBOURNE, Australia – Cairn Energy has confirmed it will drill an exploration well on the Bellatrix prospect as part of an upcoming appraisal and exploration drilling campaign offshore Senegal.

The program, likely to be performed by the ConocoPhillips-contracted drillship Ocean Rig Athena, should start in early October with two appraisal wells on last year’s deepwater SNE oil discovery, according to partner FAR.

The aim is to prove an economic threshold for a development, said to be around 200 MMbbl.

Cairn Energy exploration director Richard Heaton said the third well would target the Bellatrix prospect, which 3D data processing suggests also overlies the northern end of the SNE field.

“This will define the northern end of the (SNE) field,” he added. “It allows us to characterize the reservoirs there.

“We’ll have an extensive logging program here, but at the moment there isn’t a firm coring program here or a firm testing program. Obviously results will depend a little bit on how the first two wells also go, so we have some flexibility here.”

FAR managing director Cath Norman said: “The Bellatrix prospect is one of a number of high-quality targets the joint venture has identified in both the Rufisque and Sangomar license areas offshore Senegal.

“The great attraction in drilling Bellatrix is that it will allow us to gain additional information on the extent of the SNE field while also testing a high-quality exploration target of 168 MMbbl in its own right.”


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