Cairn Energy has started the appraisal program to evaluate the SNE oil discovery, offshore Senegal.
According to FAR Limited, a partner in the project, the three wells SNE-2, SNE-3 and BEL-1 will be drilled back to back in a program that is estimated to be completed in mid-2016. Both SNE-2 and SNE-3 appraisal wells will be logged, cored and flow tested.
FAR explained that the aim of the appraisal program was to progress towards proving a minimum economic field size for the SNE discovery, which FAR estimated to be approximately 200 million barrels of oil. In addition, the BEL-1 well will also evaluate the Bellatrix prospect which lies on the untested Buried Hills exploration play.
FAR added that, for reasons of operational efficiency, the top hole of SNE-3 would be drilled first by the Ocean Rig Athena. The rig will be then be mobilised to the SNE-2 well location where SNE-2 will then be drilled to total depth (TD). Operations on the top hole of the SNE-3 well and drilling to total depth (TD) on the SNE-2 well are expected to last approximately 6 weeks after which the coring, logging and flow testing program will start on SNE-2, FAR said. On completion of the operations on SNE-2, SNE-3 will be re-entered and drilling and evaluation will be carried out before the start of the BEL-1 well.
Cath Norman, Managing Director, said: “This drilling program has the potential to create considerable new shareholder value. We have high hopes for these three wells which have the potential to prove the SNE field size exceeds the minimum economic threshold which we estimate at 200 million barrels.
“We will also test the very high potential Buried Hills play by drilling the Bellatrix prospect and as such this well will be very exciting.”
FAR has 15% working interest in the permit and Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips and Petrosen (the Senegalese National Oil Company) hold 40%, 35% and 10% respectively.