More Drilling Planned After Successful Exploration

Published at 08:59AM - 11/04/16

More drilling planned after successful exploration for Cairn Energy, as it releases details on its latest exploration well offshore Senegal.

The exploration and production company have been targeting the Bellatrix prospect, and the northern extent of its SNE field discovered back in 2014. The success of the BEL-1 well, means that Cairn Energy and partners are now planning a fourth well.

“The drilling programme in Senegal continues to provide positive evidence of the scale and extent of the SNE field.”, said Cairn Energy Chief Executive Simon Thomson.

Successful Drilling

The BEL-1 well was drilled by the Ocean Rig Athena, located in 1,032m water depth approximately 90km offshore in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block and reached the planned total depth (TD) of 2,742m below sea level (TVDSS).

The well targeted a shallower ‘buried hill” exploration play which is one of multiple exploration play types that have been identified across the block.  The BEL-1 well exploration results confirm the presence of shallower regionally extensive reservoirs also encountered in the SNE-3 well more than 9 km away. 

These well results, along with the latest 3D seismic acquired in Q4 2015, will be incorporated into block wide remapping to look at possible new plays and down-dip oil potentially associated with the shallower reservoirs.

More Drilling

In light of the success of the ongoing appraisal programme, the JV has agreed that the Ocean Rig Athena will now drill SNE-4, located 5km south-east of the SNE-1 discovery well, to appraise the eastern extent of the field and aiming to confirm the nature of the upper reservoirs in the oil zone.

Cairn Energy Senegal Exploration Drilling Map
Click To Enlarge

“The BEL-1 appraisal results have provided definitive information confirming the northern extent of the high quality reservoirs seen in the other wells and demonstrated an increased oil column in this area of the field,” added Thomson.

“Operations have been safely and successfully completed and significant data gathered to help the joint venture partners establish the ultimate size of the significant resource base. The evaluation programme continues with the SNE-4 well.”

Cairn has a 40% Working Interest (WI) in three blocks offshore Senegal (Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore and Rufisque), ConocoPhillips has 35% WI, FAR Ltd 15% WI and PETROSEN, the national oil company of Senegal 10% WI.

Ocean Rig Athena

The Ocean Rig Athena, is an ultra deepwater drillship, delivered in 2014 by Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje (Koje) Shipyard in South Korea.

Athena’s design capability enables it to operate in a maximum water depth of 12,000 feet (3,658m), and drill to a maximum depth of 40,000 feet (12,192m).