Oil Success Continues Offshore Senegal

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Companies exploring the waters off the coast of Senegal said they’ve made another oil discovery just north of the flagship SNE oil field.

Australian energy company FAR Ltd. and British company Cairn Energy, the operator, said they’ve discovered oil at the so-called Sirius Prospect in waters just to the north of SNE. Cath Norman, the managing director at FAR, said it’s the 11th successful well so far in the campaign.

“The SNE North-1 discovery yet again verifies the quality of the oil and gas generating system in our offshore Senegal permits and is another significant result,” she said in a statement.

Cairn is one of Europe’s leading independent oil and gas exploration and has a controlling interest at SNE. Hailed as one of the largest discoveries when declared in 2014, the companies tied to Senegal say that SNE, combined with other exploration developments, may hold more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil.

Drilling into Sirius marks the end to a five-well campaign offshore Senegal. The companies said a “slightly lighter” type of oil was uncovered in the prospect, which could be a factor in where any of the oil offshore Senegal would eventually be sent.

Cairn said it was releasing the Stena DrillMAX drill ship and would review with its joint venture partners the potential for further exploration offshore Senegal for next year.

“An update on resources and the SNE development plans will be provided at our interim results later this month,” Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson said in a statement.

Cairn has a 40 percent working interest in three basins offshore Senegal, Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum holds 35 percent, FAR Ltd. has 15 percent and the national oil company of Senegal holds the rest. The joint venture partners are at odds over who would serve as the operator for some of the basins.

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