Cairn Energy has spudded the first appraisal well on the SNE oil field located 100km offshore Senegal.
According to FAR Limited, a partner in the project, the SNE-2 well will be drilled in approximately 1,100 metres of water and drilled to a TDVSS (total vertical depth subsea) of approximately 2,770 metres before an evaluation program including logging, coring and flow testing is undertaken.
FAR further explained that three evaluation wells, SNE-2, SNE-3 and BEL-1, would be drilled back to back in a program that was estimated to be completed in mid-2016. Both SNE-2 and SNE-3 appraisal wells will be logged, cored and flow tested, the company said.
FAR added 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 drill the Bellatrix exploration prospect which will evaluate the untested Buried Hills play. BEL1 will also appraise the northern portion of the SNE oil field.
For reasons of operational efficiency, the top hole of SNE-3 was drilled prior to the spud of SNE-2 (to a depth of 1,750 metres) by the Ocean Rig Athena.
Drilling of the SNE-2 well is expected to take approximately 5 weeks after which the logging and flow testing program will start. On completion of the operations on SNE-2, SNE-3 will be re-entered and drilling and evaluation will be carried out on SNE-3 before the start of the BEL-1 well.