Cairn’s exploration focus is on frontier and emerging basins acreage with the greatest potential value impact. Cairn holds frontier and emerging basin exploration acreage offshore Senegal, Mexico, Suriname, Israel, Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritania.
The mature basins of the UK provide balance to the frontier exploration portfolio.
Cairn’s frontier exploration focus has been on acreage along the Atlantic Margin which was formed millions of years ago when the supercontinent ‘Pangaea’ broke up to form the continents as they are known today and provides a range of underexplored and mature hydrocarbon basins with common geology and promising opportunities for organic growth.
In 2012 Cairn embarked upon an exploration drilling programme along the Atlantic Margin including drilling offshore Senegal. This resulted in Cairn opening a new hydrocarbon basin with two oil discoveries in Senegal in 2014, one of which, the Sangomar discovery, was the largest global oil discovery of 2014. Cairn was the first to drill in deep-water offshore Senegal which remains relatively underexplored. Over the following three years Cairn delivered a successful exploration and appraisal campaign increasing this significant resource base and transitioning the Sangomar discovery into development planning with first oil expected in 2023.
Cairn has continued to expand its position along the Atlantic Margin securing three licences offshore Mexico in 2017 and 2018. The Mexican Gulf region is significantly under-explored compared to the nearby analogous United States Gulf of Mexico and exploration drilling commenced in 2019. Cairn also acquired licences offshore Suriname, Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritania in 2018.