Cairn finds gas close to deepwater oil field offshore Senegal

Offshore staff

EDINBURGH, UK – Cairn Energy’s latest well offshore Senegal has proven gas in the Bellatrix exploration prospect.

The Ocean Rig Athena drilled the BEL-1 well in 1,031 m (3,382 ft) of water to a TVD of 2,767 m (9,078 ft). The well intersected two good-quality gas-bearing sand reservoirs with total net thickness of 8 m (26 ft) between the Bellatrix main objective and deeper SNE appraisal objective.

It also confirmed the potential of the shallow Buried Hills play, and regionally extensive seals. These shallower reservoirs were also encountered in the recent SNE-3 appraisal well, drilled by the same rig 9 km (5.6 mi) to the south.

Partner FAR plans to incorporate the results into its assessment for potential downdip oil in shallower reservoirs across its Senegal offshore blocks, including the Djiffere permit.

BEL-1 was then deepened to appraise the northern part of the SNE field. Resultant gas-oil and oil-water depths indicate an oil column of around 100 m (328 ft) gross, similar to findings from SNE-1, SNE-2, and SNE-3.

Oil quality was similar, but with higher oil density toward the base of the column.

The partners have agreed to next drill SNE-4, 5 km (3 mi) southeast of SNE-1, in order to appraise the field’s eastern extent and to confirm the nature of the upper reservoirs in the oil zone.

Cairn recently upgraded its estimates of the SNE-1 discovery to 1C 200 MMbbl, 2C 385 MMbbl, and 3C 690 MMbbl.


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Deepwater SNE oil field well locations offshore Senegal Cairn Energy and FAR Ltd
SNE oil field well locations offshore Senegal. (Courtesy Cairn Energy)

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