SNE Appraisal Program Offshore Senegal Continues with SNE-3 Drilling

Drilling operations at the second appraisal well on the SNE oilfield offshore Senegal have begun, following the completion of SNE’s first appraisal well, SNE-2.

SNE-3, which is located approximately two miles south of the initial SNE-1 discovery well, will be drilled in approximately 3,871 feet of water to a total vertical depth of approximately 9,127 feet. An extensive evaluation program involving coring, logging and flow testing is expected to take place at SNE-3, which was previously drilled to a depth of 5,757 feet by the Ocean Rig Athena prior to the spud of SNE-2.

Cairn Energy plc announced earlier this month that it flowed oil from the SNE-2 appraisal well at a rate of around 8,000 barrels per day from one interval and 1,000 bopd from another. The SNE-2 well is located in a water depth of 3,937 foot, approximately 62 miles offshore in the Sangomar Offshore block. SNE-2 reached a planned total depth of 9,186 feet below sea level with initial indications confirming the presence of the same 32 degree API oil quality as seen in SNE-1.

Commenting on the development of its exploration program in Senegal, Simon Thomson, chief executive of Cairn Energy plc, said in a company statement:

“Cairn is delighted with the positive flow tests on the SNE-2 appraisal well confirming the commercial deliverability of the SNE discovery. Further appraisal activity this year will test the overall scale and extent of the resource base in Senegal, and is expected to lead to revision of the resource estimates. Drilling operations on the next appraisal well, SNE-3, are now underway.

“The company remains fully funded from existing financial resources to deliver its exploration and appraisal program, as well as to take its North Sea developments through to free cashflow generation in 2017.”

FAR ltd, one of Cairn’s Senegal joint venture partners, expects SNE-3 to reach total depth in the latter part of next month. It is expected that wireline logs will then be run followed by a drill stem testing program. A key aim of the SNE appraisal program is to progress towards proving a minimum economic field size for the SNE discovery, which FAR estimates to be approximately 200 million barrels of recoverable oil, as well as determining flow rates for the planning of future development.


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A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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