Australia-based FAR Limited has awarded a drilling rig contract to Stena Drilling for the provision of the Stena DrillMAX drillship to drill the giant Samo prospect offshore, The Gambia.
FAR said in a statement on Thursday that the Samo-1 well is scheduled for late 2018. FAR Gambia Limited, a subsidiary of FAR, is operator of the Gambia Block A2 Joint Venture.
FAR’s Managing Director, Cath Norman, said: “We are delighted to make this announcement as the Stena DrillMAX was our rig of choice given it completed a highly successful, efficient and under budget drilling campaign for our Senegal joint venture in 2017.
“FAR has secured the rig at a very attractive operating day rate which is in line with 2017 rates. The FAR drilling management team consists of several personnel involved with the Senegal joint venture’s previous drilling campaigns. In securing many of these core team members in conjunction with the Stena DrillMAX, we are well positioned to achieve solid operating performance in The Gambia.
“This is a positive milestone for FAR as we prepare to drill the Samo-1 well later this year, the first well offshore The Gambia for 40 years.”
The Samo-1 exploration well has a primary target which FAR estimates to contain a best estimate prospective resource of 825 mmbbls of oil. The Samo prospect has two target intervals, is on trend and shares many similarities with the giant SNE oil field. FAR said that, as such, it is very highly rated with an estimated chance of success (CoS) in one or both targets, endorsed by RISC, of 55%.
According to the company, it is rare to have an exploration prospect with such a high CoS but this reflects the adjacent discovery at SNE and the confidence FAR Limited has developed in exploring in the play fairway which is yet to experience a dry well.
The Stena DrillMAX is a dual mast, dynamically positioned, deep water drillship. It is a harsh environment dynamically positioned DP class 3 drillship capable of drilling in water depths up to 10,000.
To remind, FAR expanded its West African exploration portfolio in the offshore Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau Basin through a farm-in deal with US based oil and gas company, Erin Energy Corporation, to acquire an 80% working interest and operatorship in two highly prospective offshore blocks, A2 and A5, in The Gambia.
The farm-in required FAR to fund Erin up to $8 million through the exploration well, which is expected to be drilled in late 2018.