Cairn drilled the first deep water wells offshore Senegal in 2014 and made two basin opening discoveries, one of which, the SNE field, was the largest global oil discovery of 2014.
Since then, the region has evolved from a frontier basin to an emerging oil play attracting the attention of the global industry. Cairn farmed-in as operator to its three blocks offshore Senegal in 2013 acquiring a 65% interest in the three blocks with a combined acreage of 7,000km2. Since then, Cairn has operated three drilling programmes and has now successfully laid the foundation for a multi-phase development plan of the SNE field.
In 2018 substantial progress was made on the SNE field multi-phase development with a number of key milestones achieved. Our partner Woodside has now assumed the role of operator, as planned, and the Joint Venture (JV) is targeting a final investment decision in mid-2019 and first oil in 2022.
The SNE development concept is a stand-alone Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel facility with a capacity of ~100,000 bopd, with 23 subsea wells and supporting subsea infrastructure. It will be designed to allow subsequent SNE development phases, including options for gas export to shore and for future subsea tiebacks from other reservoirs and fields.
In January 2019, the JV received approval in principle for the technical basis of the SNE Development and Exploitation Plan and confirmation that the licence covering the SNE development area would be extended to allow for the conclusion of FEED and to mature financing activities during 2019 prior to Exploitation Licence award. Separately, the JV has submitted a request to the government for an extension of the licence area covering the FAN and SNE North/Spica exploration areas to undertake further evaluation.
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was submitted in 2018 and approved in January 2019.
Project finance has been successfully launched with detailed work underway on financing structures for the JV.
FEED activities for the subsea contract and for the FPSO facility have been awarded to Subsea Integration Alliance and MODEC International Inc, respectively. The FEED work involves undertaking activities required to finalise the costs and technical definition for the development to enable a final investment decision.
The JV is now planning to undertake a 3D high bandwidth seismic survey in Q2/3 2019. It is expected that the survey will improve reservoir definition to support development well placement.
We have a 40% interest in three blocks offshore Senegal (Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore, Rufisque Offshore) alongside our Joint Venture partners Woodside 35%, Far Ltd 15% and the Senegal National Oil Company, Petrosen 10%.