First-time lucky for Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy as it strikes oil in Senegal


Simon Thomson, Chief Executive, Cairn Energy
Simon Thomson, Chief Executive, Cairn Energy


Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy has struck oil in Senegal from its FAN-1 exploration well. This is the third well in Cairn’s North-West Africa programme and its first in Senegal.

While the full extent of the oil reserves found have yet to be determined, it has been described as ‘substantial’ and having ‘significant potential’.

The find is about 60 miles offshore in the Sangomar Deep block. Preliminary analysis indicates it contains a 30 million oil bearing-reservoir in Cretaceous sandstone. The well was drilled using the semi-submersible drilling unit “Cajun Express”.

Cairn has a 40% working interest in three blocks  in offshore Senegal – Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore and Rusifique. ConocoPhillips has 35% FAR Ltd has 15% and Petrosen, the national oil company of Senegal, has 10%.

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive, Cairn Energy, said: “The oil discovered in the FAN-1 prospect is an important event for Senegal and our joint venture. 

“We have encountered a very substantial oil bearing interval which may have significant potential as a standalone discovery.

“Work is already underway to determine follow up activity which is targeted for 2015 onwards. Cairn looks forward to working with the Government of Senegal and our partners to realise the full potential from this large acreage position off the west coast of Senegal.”

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