Cairn finishes off Senegal drilling campaign with new discovery

London-listed Cairn Energy has found oil and gas in the SNE North-1 exploration well off Senegal. With this well finished, Cairn has completed its exploration drilling campaign for the year. 

The company announced the results of the SNE North-1 exploration well on Monday, saying that the well encountered oil and gas in the primary objective and oil in the deeper secondary objective, in a separate accumulation to the SNE field.

Cairn said that further work is being undertaken to establish the potential commerciality of this discovery and to integrate the results with the block wide data gathered to date. The well result has positive implications for further hydrocarbon potential to the north of the structural trend containing the SNE field and SNE North-1 discovery well, as well as for broader exploration potential in the permit.

The well is located in about 900 meters  water depth, about 90 kilometers offshore in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block and ~15km north of the SNE-1 discovery.  The well reached a Total Depth (TD) of 2,837m. Operations have again been completed ahead of schedule and under budget, following drilling and logging.

Cairn’s preliminary analysis indicates:~24m of gross hydrocarbon column across three intervals; ~11m net condensate and gas in high quality reservoir in primary objective; ~4m net oil in good quality reservoir in deeper secondary objective (occurring below the SNE field Oil Water Contact); and a slightly lighter oil type of 35° API than that encountered in the SNE Field.

A full set of oil, water and gas samples was recovered to the surface. After completing conventional logging, a series of Modular Formation Dynamic Testing (MDT) mini-fracs were obtained across the reservoir section to help calibrate the geo-mechanical model of the SNE field and aid development well design.

According to Cairn, this marks the end of the five well 2017 drilling campaign. SNE North-1 is being plugged and abandoned and the Stena DrillMAX drillship will be released. The Joint Venture is reviewing the potential for further exploration drilling operations next year within the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep Production Sharing Contract area.

Simon Thomson, CEO of Cairn Energy PLC said: “The SNE North well results are encouraging in terms of further prospectivity and implications for the full block potential offshore Senegal.

“We are delighted to have completed a safe and successful drilling program in Senegal this year with the Stena DrillMAX. An update on resources and the SNE development plans will be provided at our interim results later this month.”

Cairn is the operator of the blocks offshore Senegal where the well is located with Far Limited, Petrosen and Woodside as its partners.

Commenting on the discovery, Far Managing Director, Cath Norman, said: “The SNE North-1 discovery yet again verifies the quality of the oil and gas generating system in our offshore Senegal permits and is another significant result. It is the 11th successful well drilled into the RSSD permits and the fifth in this year’s campaign. The SNE North-1 well results are very encouraging for the structural trend to the north of the SNE field and the broader exploration potential of our Senegal permit and our other blocks in the region.”