Report: BP looking to buy stake in Cairn’s Senegal assets?

UK oil major BP is reportedly in talks with London-listed Cairn Energy to buy part of its stake in assets offshore Senegal. 

Citing banking sources and a Senegal oil ministry source, Reuters reported on Monday that BP was looking to buy a 30% stake in Cairn’s deepwater SNE field offshore Senegal, which could be valued at around $600 million.

An unnamed adviser to Senegal’s oil minister told Reuters: “We are aware that BP wants to acquire a stake in Cairn Energy, but they are awaiting validation by the state (of Senegal).”

However, a spokesperson for Cairn told Reuters that the reports concerning Cairn’s assets in Senegal were not true. Offshore Energy Today has reached out to BP seeking confirmation of these reports but BP declined to comment.

BP already has interest in assets offshore Senegal and Mauritania through a joint venture with the U.S.-based Kosmos Energy. The two companies are working on the development of the Tortue gas project, expecting first gas by 2021.

Cairn Energy, as the operator, has a 40% working interest in three blocks offshore Senegal – Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore, and Rufisque Offshore – alongside joint venture partners Woodside (35%), Far Ltd (15%), and the Senegal National Oil Company, Petrosen (10%).

Woodside entered the JV in 2016 after buying ConocoPhillips’ stake. However, this transaction was not well received by another partner, the Australian Far, which claimed the completion of the transaction between ConocoPhillips and Woodside was subject to the rights of partners to pre-empt and Senegal Government approval. Unable to resolve the issue with partners, Far later on initiated arbitration process to resolve the dispute.

When it comes to the field itself, Cairn discovered the SNE field back in 2014. Subsequently, the field was dubbed the largest global oil discovery of the year. According to information on Cairn’s website, the field’s current 2C in place resources are estimated at more than 2.7 billion barrels.

Cairn expects to submit an outline timetable for the SNE development and an Exploitation Plan in 2018, a Final Investment Decision (FID) within twelve months thereafter. First oil is expected in the period between 2021-2023.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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