Cairn drilled the first deep water wells offshore Senegal in 2014 and made two basin opening discoveries.
Since then, the region has evolved from a frontier basin to an emerging oil play attracting the attention of the global industry. In the last three years, Cairn has operated three drilling programmes and has now successfully laid the foundation for a multi-phase development plan.
The third phase of drilling took place in 2017, completing the appraisal activity for the development of SNE. The JV has passed the development concept for the SNE field and is aligned on a phased and cost effective development plan. The first phase will focus on the lower S500 reservoirs. A vessel with a capacity of ~100,000 bopd is being targeted. Cairn estimates up to 25 wells in the initial development phase, targeting ~240 mmbbls.
Phase two of the development, which is anticipated to follow phase one after two to four years, will target an additional 250 mmbbls in the S400 upper reservoir and include potential gas export. Phase three is expected to focus on maximising the economic recovery of the field within the twenty five year term of the Production Sharing Contract, for which a ten year extension is also provided.
The development timetable is now focused on the JV’s Evaluation Report which will outline the basis of commerciality of the project. The Evaluation Report is close to finalisation and is expected to be submitted to the Government of Senegal in H1 2018. Key work is also progressing on detailed concept and front end engineering and design (FEED) with preferred contractors beginning in H2 2018.
The Exploitation Plan which will outline the full life of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) development plans and options, including a detailed definition of the first phase, is targeted for submission in H2 2018. At the same time the formal transfer of Operatorship of the development to Woodside will commence. Government approval is targeted for the end of 2018, with the Final Investment Decision (FID) thereafter. First oil from Senegal is expected in the period 2021-2023.
Alongside development planning, there is an opportunity to recommence drilling in 2019-2020 and we are evaluating the potential for further exploration opportunities around the SNE discovery where there is significant untested prospectivity.