FAR inks new operating agreements for Gambian blocks with Petronas

Location of prospects in blocks A2 and A5, the Gambia
Location of prospects in blocks A2 and A5, the Gambia. Source: FAR

Australia’s FAR has signed new joint operating agreements (JOAs) for the A2 and A5 Blocks in The Gambia, with Malaysia’s Petronas while efforts to find an additional partner to drill an exploration well are ongoing.

This follows the granting of new licences for those blocks by The Government of The Gambia effective 1 October 2019, after which FAR and Petronas took the opportunity to update the terms of the existing JOAs by entering into new JOAs with effect from 1 October 2019.

FAR remains as operator under the new JOAs which reflect the terms of the new licences better.

FAR said on Thursday that efforts to find an additional partner for the drilling of the next well in The Gambia are ongoing with FAR having run numerous data room presentations for interested parties.

FAR is working to conclude a farm-out before the restart of the drilling operations.

Namely, FAR has been making preparations to drill an exploration well in the second half of this year.

However, about three months ago, FAR temporarily suspended the drilling plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Block A2 and A5

FAR has a 50 per cent interest in Block A2 and Block A5 in The Gambia. Both are located to the south of Sangomar field development offshore Senegal, which is operated by Woodside and FAR is one of the partners.

The blocks cover an area of approximately 2,682km2 within the rapidly emerging and prolific MSGBC (MauritaniaSenegal-Guinea-Bissau-Conakry) Basin.

They lie approximately 30kms offshore in water depths ranging from 50 to 1,200 metres.

In combination, Blocks A2 and A5 have potential to contain prospective resources in excess of 1 billion barrels of oil (on an unrisked, best estimate, 100% basis).

The technical and commercial analysis supports drilling of the Bambo well to test the main target of S400 series sands (152 mmbbls, P50, gross), which FAR has mapped as the southern culmination of the Sangomar field extending into The Gambia.

The Bambo prospect has multiple reservoir targets, having two of the main reservoirs in S400 series sand being hydrocarbon-bearing in the Sangomar wells.

Preparations are now underway for the start of drilling operations. Initial planning has further highlighted the opportunity to locate a single well to intersect both the main target, S400 series and a shallower, secondary target at the S390 sand (464 mmbbls, P50, gross).

The operational team that managed the Samo-1 well campaign was reassembled in 4Q 2019 with significant progress being made.

The drilling activities, which were suspended in the wake of COVID-19, will restart when it is safe to do so, FAR said.,

The company also said that the new JOAs and licences provide the company with up-to-date agreements for its ongoing work on these blocks, where the company highly encouraged to continue exploring in this proven and prospective basin.

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