Scots oil company confirms its Senegal field is 3-miles bigger than expected, with 325-ft thick column of oil

Cairn Energy's Senegal oil (in green) and gas (in red) field
Cairn Energy’s Senegal oil (in green) and gas (in red) field

Further tests wells drilled in Cairn Energy’s Senegal fields have yielded better than expected results on the scale and quality of the field and at a cost ‘substantially’ below budget, the Edinburgh-based oil explorer has announced.

Cairn confirmed a discovery offshore in Senegal in January this year. It put the preliminary contingent reserve estimate at the SNE field offshore Senegal at about 385 million barrels of oil, about 20% higher than initial estimates.

The company’s latest analysis surveyed results from a gross column of oil measuring 325-feet thick. The eastern edge of the SNE field was found to extend another three miles beyond what was originally mapped.

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive, Cairn Energy, said: “We have now drilled four successful appraisal wells in Senegal and we are delighted with the results to date of the multi-well evaluation programme, which has confirmed the scale and potential of this world class asset. 

“Our operations in Senegal have been safely conducted and are ahead of schedule and substantially under budget.

“We have gathered a very large volume of data from operations to date and we look forward to progressing our long-term, multi-field, multi-phase exploitation plan to maximise value in Senegal. We see clear potential to access additional cost savings from the current lower operating environment in respect of planned future activity.”

The SNE-4 well is the sixth well offshore Senegal and the fourth completed this year as part of a multi-well evaluation programme to help delineate the shape of the structure and establish deliverability and full potential of the field.

The Ocean Rig Athena will now be de-mobilised and the company will continue integrating the significant amount of data collected from the four wells, including two drill stem tests and more than 600m of core.

.The SNE-4 well, located in 942m water depth and approximately 85km offshore in the Sangomar Offshore block, reached the planned total depth (TD) of 2,944m below sea level (TVDSS).  

The SNE-4 well was appraising the eastern extent of the SNE field discovered in 2014 and aiming to confirm the nature of the upper reservoirs in the oil zone. The well is now being plugged and abandoned.

Cairn’s analysis of the dataset collected is continuing with initial results as follows:

  • Confirms the extension of reservoirs in the eastern extent of the SNE field, more than 5 kilometres (km) to the east and down dip of SNE-3
  • Confirms oil bearing Upper Reservoir sands of similar quality to those encountered as gas bearing elsewhere in the field
  • The uppermost gas sands first encountered in SNE-3 and BEL-1 were also present and gas bearing in SNE-4
  • Confirms correlation and presence of the principal reservoir units between each of the wells across the whole field
  • A gross oil column of ~100 metres (m) encountered, similar to SNE-1, SNE-2, SNE-3 and BEL-1
  • 108m of continuous core taken across the oil bearing reservoir interval with 100% recovery
  • Multiple samples of gas, oil and water recovered to surface

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