Cairn Energy Submits 3-Year Senegal Work Plan

Independent oil and gas firm Cairn Energy has moved a step closer to developing a new basin play offshore Senegal after submitting a three-year evaluation work plan to the country's government.

Cairn said Monday that the firm and its partners have produced a plan for an initial program of three firm and three optional exploration and appraisal wells on acreage around the SNE-1 discovery well, with drilling due to start during the fourth quarter of this year. Cairn estimates that the existing two discoveries and the currently-identified prospects and leads have an estimated mean-risked resource base of more than a billion barrels.

The firm said that the Ocean Rig Athena (UDW drillship) has been selected for the drilling campaign. The rig is currently contracted to ConocoPhillips in Angola.

As well as the drilling program, there will also be a 3D seismic data acquisition campaign of some 750 square miles over the Sangomar and Rufisque blocks to help fully map the prospectivity of the contract area.

Cairn said it believes there is substantial prospectivity across all three of its blocks offshore Senegal. To date, it has identified at least five prospects and 18 leads.

Cairn Chief Executive Simon Thomson commented in a company statement:

"Cairn made two significant discoveries offshore Senegal in 2014 proving a hydrocarbon system in a new and emerging Atlantic Margin Basin. We are excited about the exploration and appraisal opportunity of this world class asset. We have now submitted a three-year evaluation work plan to the Government of Senegal which is designed to lay the foundation for a long term multi-field, multi-phase exploitation plan."

"Our focus will be to add value in Senegal within a balanced, well-funded company. We are well placed to take advantage of this exciting opportunity as we build on the success of last year."

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