Cairn-led JV moves on exploration, appraisal offshore Senegal

A joint venture led by Cairn Energy PLC has proposed a $150 million exploration and appraisal program offshore Senegal to begin later this year.

The JV, which includes Perth-based FAR Ltd., ConocoPhillips, and Petrosen, will concentrate first on appraisal of last year’s SNE-1 oil discovery as well as testing other prospects in the shallow waters of the continental shelf. There also will be further technical evaluation of the more difficult FAN-1 oil discovery in deeper waters (OGJ Online, Nov. 19, 2014). A 3D seismic survey is planned over a section of the contract area that includes part of the Sangomar and Rufisque blocks.

The proposed work program will be submitted to the Sengalese government next month.

FAR says the estimated size of the SNE-1 oil accumulation is 330 million bbl. It has excellent reservoir and a well-defined structure making it the more attractive of last year’s two discoveries, hence the focus of early appraisal.

Cairn anticipates two appraisal wells will be drilled to further evaluate the reservoir at SNE with flow tests and a coring program. There needs to be at least 200 million bbl of proved oil reserves to make a viable development.

Exploration will focus on several other prospects, including Soleil and Sirius, within a 25 km radius of the discovery. A minimum economic volume for any tie-back to SNE is 75 million bbl. Soleil has potential to hold 100 million bbl and Sirius, 200 million bbl.

Any development will use a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel hub.

In the deeper water canyon plays in FAN-1 region, the group will consider drilling a nearby prospect named Beer.

FAN discovery did not encounter an oil-water contact and at this stage the reserves estimate has the wide range of 250-2,500 million bbl of oil. The uncertainties will be addressed with interpretation of the reprocessed 3D seismic data towards yearend.

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