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    Cairn's 9th Senegal Well Flows Oil


UK Cairn Energy says that its ninth well in Senegal – the SNE-6 appraisal well – has flowed oil, further buoying interest in the country's offshore.

by: Mark Smedley

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Cairn's 9th Senegal Well Flows Oil

UK Cairn Energy said May 18 that its ninth well offshore Senegal – the SNE-6 appraisal well – has flowed oil. Four drill stem tests on SNE-6 produced at maximum rates of between 3,700 and 5,400 b/d oil. The news comes as interest in oil and gas exploration in Senegal has never been keener.

Earlier this month Total scrambled to secure new out-of-round acreage offshore Senegal and Mauritania, both now oil and gas exploration hotspots, in controversial circumstances that included the sudden sacking of Senegal’s energy minister. Total has not disclosed payments for the new blocks.

Cairn said pressure data from SNE-6 has confirmed that the upper reservoir is connected with SNE-5, some 1.6km away.

CEO Simon Thomson said May 18: “This is our ninth successful well in Senegal in three years. The results from this latest well together with SNE-5 and VR-1 provide essential data as we move towards submitting a development plan for the SNE field to the Government of Senegal in 2018.”

Cairn's drilling activity offshore Senegal up to mid-May 2017 (Map credit: Cairn Energy)

SNE-6 is being plugged and the Stena DrillMax drill ship is being moved to start the FAN south exploration well, 20km southwest of the SNE-3 well.

Cairn operates with a 40% interest the 3 blocks offshore Senegal where the nine wells have been drilled, alongside Australia’s Woodside 35% and FAR 15%, plus state owned Petrosen 10%; the partnership announced on March 27 that its 8th well (VR-1) had found oil. Earlier finds also included associated gas.

Update as of May 19: Cairn CEO Simon Thomson told the company's AGM on May 19: "We aim to submit an exploitation plan to the Government of Senegal in 2018 with a Final Investment Decision within twelve months thereafter and first oil in the period 2021 to 2023." 


Mark Smedley