Ocean Rig Athena Drillship to Mobilize for Senegal Drilling Program Shortly

Africa-focused oil and gas exploration company FAR Limited reported Wednesday that the firm and its partners have contracted the Ocean Rig Athena (UDW drillship) for an upcoming exploration drilling program at the joint venture's blocks offshore Senegal.

The Ocean Rig Athena, currently under long term contract with ConocoPhillips which will play a key role in project managing the drilling program, is now in Angola and FAR expects the drillship to commence mobilization to Senegal in the next few days.

The Senegal drilling program includes three wells -- comprising two appraisal wells at the SNE-1 oil discovery that will include a coring and testing program -- and one shelf exploration well to further evaluate the shelf area prospectivity. This drilling, logging, coring and testing program is expected to be completed by mid-2016.

The first two wells (SNE-2 and SNE-3) will be drilled to appraise the SNE field and are aimed at progressing towards proving the threshold economic field size which FAR estimates to be around 200 million barrels for a foundation project.

The third well (BEL-1) in the drilling program -- the first exploration well to be drilled in the blocks following the discoveries at the FAN-1 and SNE-1 wells -- will aim to build the resource base within tie-back range of a possible future hub development over the SNE field. It will be drilled into the Bellatrix Prospect which has been mapped by FAR to contain 168 million barrels of oil on a gross, unrisked, prospective resource basis with 25 million barrels net to FAR.

“We look forward to drilling our exciting next phase of Senegal wells with the Ocean Rig Athena. When this modern drill ship is combined with the experience gained from drilling the FAN-1 and SNE-1 discovery wells and the capabilities of the ConocoPhillips drilling organization, we expect to deliver very efficient Senegal drilling operations. In addition, the joint venture has been able to take advantage of reduced deepwater rig rates and has secured the rig for a firm three wells and options for an additional three wells in the event of success,” FAR's Managing Director Cath Norman said in the press release.

FAR estimates there is 1.5 biilion barrels of gross prospective resources (225 million barrels net) in several drilling prospects that lie within subsea tie-back distance to a proposed SNE production hub.

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