This plan includes an initial program of three firm and three optional exploration and appraisal wells, with drilling starting in Q4 2015 in Cairn’s new basin play offshore Senegal focused on the acreage around the SNE-1 discovery well.
The company estimates that the existing two discoveries and the currently identified prospects and leads have an estimated mean risked resource base of more than a billion barrels.
The Ocean Rig Athena, a 7th generation dual activity drillship has been selected for the drilling program. The rig is currently contracted to ConocoPhillips in Angola. Cairn says it is in the final stages of working with its joint venture partners to finalise the rig contract and associated support services, which are being tendered to secure current market pricing.
The firm three well program is currently planned to include two appraisal wells of the SNE-1 discovery which will core and test the reservoir, as well as one shelf exploration well. According to Cairn, there will also be a 2,000km2 3D seismic data acquisition campaign over the Sangomar and Rufisque blocks to help fully map the prospectivity of the contract area.
A work program and budget for the three optional wells will be presented to joint venture partners in Q3 2015. Targets for these wells will be drawn from a combination of further evaluation of the SNE-1 discovery, additional exploration in the shelf region, and exploration in the acreage around FAN-1. Drilling plans for these wells will be subject to ongoing FAN studies and the results of the first three firm wells.
Simon Thomson, Chief Executive of Cairn Energy PLC said:
“Cairn made two significant discoveries offshore Senegal in 2014 proving a hydrocarbon system in a new and emerging Atlantic Margin Basin. We are excited about the exploration and appraisal opportunity of this world class asset. We have now submitted a three year evaluation work plan to the Government of Senegal which is designed to lay the foundation for a long term multi-field, multi phase exploitation plan.
“Our focus will be to add value in Senegal within a balanced, well funded company. We are well placed to take advantage of this exciting opportunity as we build on the success of last year.”