Cairn has been active in Senegal since 2013. In 2014 Cairn made two significant discoveries in Senegal, one of which was potentially the largest global oil discovery in 2014.


Successful wells drilled offshore Senegal


Basin opening oil discoveries


Since the two initial basin opening discoveries in 2014, Cairn has drilled five successful wells in the area. During 2016, subsurface data gathering was successfully completed on four wells, SNE-2, SNE-3, BEL-1 and SNE-4. With better than expected drilling performance and the lower cost environment, these four wells were essentially drilled and evaluated on the SNE field for the original budget of three wells.

In 2017, the third phase of evaluation is underway which is intended to improve the definition of the project and confirm volumes, connectivity and productivity. Operations and testing of the first of the appraisal wells, SNE-5, have recently been successfully completed, ahead of schedule and under budget. The well has been plugged and abandoned and the Stena DrillMAX has moved location to commence operations on the Vega-Regulus (VR-1) well. VR-1 will target the Vega- Regulus exploration prospect in the Aptian Carbonates underlying the SNE field which has potential gross mean consolidated prospective resource of more than 100 mmbbls. In addition, the well will provide further appraisal on the SNE field targeting potential incremental resources. The results will narrow the range of SNE field volumes and also allow the JV time to fully integrate the results of SNE-5 prior to moving to appraisal well SNE-6 to complete the planned interference test.    

The prospectivity of Cairn’s Senegal acreage, an area of more than 7,000 km2 under licence, has high potential; the success of both the SNE discovery and follow on appraisal of the SNE field has proven there is a prolific source rock, excellent reservoir development and a good working seal. The new 3D seismic data has improved our ability to map traps along the extension of the SNE trend. Numerous, prospects have been identified in a wide variety of play types.

The JV has endorsed the foundation development concept of a standalone FPSO with subsea wells and expansion capability. This is established and proven technology in areas where Cairn can add value through recent experience in the Kraken and Catcher North Sea developments. The potential around SNE for further exploration success would transform the project into a multi-phase development.

The focus of the remaining appraisal activity is on improving our estimates of the scale and phasing of the overall field development including the balance between the number of drilling centres, type and number of wells and the subsea infrastructure.

Cairn and its JV partners submitted a three year evaluation work plan to the Government of Senegal in 2015. As part of this plan, Cairn currently anticipates an outline timetable for development with an Exploitation Plan to be submitted in 2018, a Final Investment Decision within twelve months thereafter and first oil expected in the period 2021-2023. 

Key contact


Miles Warner


Miles Warner

GM Senegal


50 Lothian Road

T: +44 131 475 3000
F: +44 131 475 3030

Senegal office

Immeuble EPI
Blvd du Sud x Rue des Ecrivains
3eme etage
Point E
BP. 25087 Dakar Fann

Telephone Number: (+221) 33 869 6101