Cairn gears up for Senegal drilling campaign

  • Project & Tenders

Cairn Energy, an oil and gas exploration and development company, has informed that the Government of Senegal has approved a three-well drilling plan offshore Senegal submitted by Cairn and its JV partners in the second quarter of 2015.

Cairn (Operator) has a 40% WI in the three blocks offshore Senegal (Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore, Rufisque Offshore) and is working with partners: ConocoPhillips (35% WI); FAR Ltd (15% WI) and Petrosen, the Senegal National Oil Company, retaining a 10% WI in the exploration phase.

According to Cairn’s 2015 Half-Yearly report, the sequence, location and evaluation targets of the three firm wells are being finalised along with details of the 3D seismic acquisition activity.

Simon Thomson, Cairn Energy PLC Chief Executive, said in the report: “We are delighted to have agreement from the Government of Senegal for our extensive evaluation plan which commences shortly with a 3D seismic survey and continues later this year with a multi-well exploration and appraisal programme.

Cairn estimates that the two discoveries made in Q4 2014 and the currently identified prospects and leads have an estimated gross mean risked resource base of more than a billion barrels.

In the report, the company also said that the objective of the 2015/16 forward programme is to establish firm volumes of the SNE-1 discovery in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block and to confirm and evaluate additional nearby prospects. Cairn’s preliminary analysis and estimates indicate a Contingent Resource range of P90 150 mmbbls, P50 330 mmbbls and P10 670 mmbbls recoverable.

Cairn emphasized that the appraisal and exploration programme will also substantially increase its understanding of the aerial extent of hydrocarbons across all three blocks.

Thomson added: “Our aim is to maximise the value of our Senegal asset within a balanced, well-funded company. Cairn is well placed to take advantage of this exciting opportunity as we build on the success of last year’s discoveries.”

According to the company’s report, there will be comprehensive coring and testing in the evaluation programme to assess field deliverability and to build a detailed geological reservoir model, from which reservoir connectivity can be demonstrated. The company explained that this comprehensive information will allow the JV to determine the further oil potential of the SNE-1 discovery and underpin the longer term field development plan.

The Ocean Rig Athena, a 7th generation dual activity drillship, under long term contract with ConocoPhillips, has been selected for the drilling programme and is expected to start operations in Q4 2015.

Senegal – 2015/16 drilling campaign

According to Cairn, the firm 2015/16 drilling campaign will consist of the following sequence of wells:

The first appraisal well, SNE-2, is in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block, 3km north of the SNE- 1 discovery. SNE-2 is a Crestal well in a central location in the heart of the field. SNE-2 will spud in Q4 2015 and is expected to take approximately six weeks to drill and core and a further four weeks to test.

The second appraisal well, SNE-3, is on the Southern Flank and is expected to begin in Q4 2015/Q1 2016. This well will test the southern extent of the field and will help to delineate the shape of the structure and define the aerial extension to the south. Cairn noted that this is a key well to establish deliverability and the full potential of the field.

The third well, BEL-1, is an exploration well which is also planned to be deepened as an SNE appraisal well and will start operations in Q1/Q2 2016. This well will test the Bellatrix prospect and also evaluate the Northern Flank of the SNE field.

Seismic activity

The seismic acquisition activity, scheduled to start in Q3 2015, will cover a 2,600km2 area over the Sangomar Offshore block and the south west part of the Rufisque block where 15 leads have already been identified. In the report, the company stated that the objective is to develop additional prospectivity to a drill ready status within 2016.

Furthermore, Cairn said that the Group is fully funded to fulfil the committed exploration and appraisal programme in Senegal.

The company also added that, in September 2015, the JV will present the programme planned for 2016/17.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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