Cairn takes Stena drillship for Senegal wells

Cairn Energy has decided to drill two appraisal wells on the SNE oil field off Senegal in 2017 with Stena Drilling’s 2007-built drillship, Stena DrillMAX.

Cairn, as the operator, has a 40% working interest in the three blocks offshore Senegal (Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore, Rufisque Offshore). ConocoPhillips has 35% WI, Far Limited 15% WI, and Petrosen, the national oil company of Senegal, 10% WI.

Far said on Friday that the partners have agreed on the firm drilling program for 2017. The wells will be drilled in order to optimize the SNE field development plan before submission to the Government of Senegal for approval.

The joint venture has completed a rig tender evaluation process and executed contracts for the use of the Stena DrillMAX drillship for the two well drilling program starting in 1Q 2017. The SNE-5 and SNE-6 wells are located within the SNE oil field and are designed to evaluate the upper SNE reservoir units (400 series), specifically the connectivity of the reservoir section and depositional model interpreted from existing wells and high quality 3D seismic data.

The drilling and evaluation plan is for SNE-5 to undergo drill stem testing (DST) and have permanent gauges placed in the upper reservoir units. SNE-6 is to be drilled immediately after SNE-5, and it is also expected to undergo an extended DST program in order to generate a pulse that will be registered in the gauges installed within the upper reservoir section at SNE-5 and SNE-3. Successful flow and interference test results that support connected reservoir units are expected to lead to higher than currently estimated ultimate oil recoveries from these reservoir units.

Far also said that the joint venture is progressing towards the submission of a development plan for the SNE field, with pre-FEED activities currently focused on determining the final project size and scope. The SNE-5 and SNE-6 wells are expected to provide important data for SNE reservoir management and will play a key role in optimizing the proposed SNE project development.

The 2007-built Stena DrillMAX has been contracted for a firm two wells plus additional option wells and the drilling program will start in 1Q 2017.

FAR managing director, Cath Norman, said, “We look forward to the results from the next phase of drilling and evaluation activity over our world class SNE oil field, offshore Senegal. The Stena Drillmax has completed an efficient drilling program elsewhere offshore West Africa and is currently located in Las Palmas. After a rigorous tender process, our joint venture has been able to secure the rig at a very attractive operating day rate, reflecting current market conditions and at a substantially lower cost than our two previous drilling campaigns.”

Another drillship owned by Stena also recently got a contract as the Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources is gearing up for its drilling campaign in the southern Porcupine Basin.

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