Polarcus: FAN-1 Opens Up West African Coastline for Exploration

Cairn Energy's recently-announced FAN-1 oil discovery offshore Senegal has proved the existence of a petroleum system that could open up exploration along 500 miles of West African coastline, according to Polarcus. 

The seismic survey operator said that it has two strategically-located 3D multi-client surveys, covering a total of 1,250 square miles nearby, which it said have now come into the spotlight on account of the FAN-1 discovery. The first is in the joint maritime commission zone between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau (known as the "AGC") and the second is offshore Guinea-Bissau in Block 7B.

These two seismic data acquisition projects were both carried out by the 3D seismic vessel Polarcus Naila in 2012/13, with the final broadband processed data volume delivered in December 2013. Subsequent detailed reconnaissance studies undertaken for Polarcus on the Guinea-Bissau data volume have highlighted several fault controlled fan systems on the shelf edge similar to those in Senegal, the firm said.

Polarcus added that although the challenge for past explorers along this coastline was to prove up the presence and maturity of Turonian-age source rock, the FAN-1 well has demonstrated that the main risk of any source rock being present is "very significantly" reduced and its presence along the entire coastline can now be proposed with a high degree of confidence.

Tuesday this week saw Cairn Energy announce that it had made an oil discovery with its FAN-1 well, approximately 60 miles offshore Senegal. The company estimates the size of the oilfield to be between 250 million and 2.5 billion barrels.


A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com


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