Cairn Energy has hired the Ocean Rig Athena drillship for a drilling campaign in Senegal. According to FAR Limited, a partner in the project, the drilling program is expected to start in the coming weeks.
The drillship is currently in Angola, expected to mobilize to Senegal within days.
The firm drilling program includes three wells including two appraisal wells on the SNE-1 oil discovery that will include a coring and testing program, plus one shelf exploration well to further evaluate the shelf area prospectivity.
According to FAR, this drilling, logging, coring and testing program is expected to be completed by mid-2016.
The first two wells SNE-2 and SNE-3 will be drilled to appraise the SNE field and are aimed at progressing towards proving the threshold economic field size which FAR estimates is in the order of 200 mmbbls for a foundation project.
The third well, BEL-1, in the drilling program will be the first exploration well to be drilled in the blocks following the discoveries in the FAN-1 and SNE-1 wells.
This well will be aimed at building the resource base within tie-back range of a possible future hub development over the SNE field.
Cath Norman, FAR Managing Director said: “We look forward to drilling our exciting next phase of Senegal wells with the Ocean Rig Athena. When this modern drillship is combined with the experience gained from drilling the FAN-1 and SNE-1 discovery wells and the capabilities of the ConocoPhillips drilling organisation, we expect to deliver very efficient Senegal drilling operations. In addition, the joint venture has been able to take advantage of reduced deepwater rig rates and has secured the rig for a firm three wells and options for an additional three wells in the event of success.”
The partners in Senegal Joint Venture are Cairn Energy PLC (operator) 40%, ConocoPhillips 35%, FAR Limited 15%, , Petrosen 10%