In The News: Cairn’s Latest Senegal Well Finds Oil & Gas Shows

Cairn announced April 11 that its fourth exploration well Senegal (BEL-1), which was targeting the Bellatrix exploration prospect and appraising the northern extent of the SNE oil field discovered 2014, confirmed the extension of the latter – but also found some gas at the former.

“The BEL-1 appraisal results have provided definitive information confirming the northern extent of the high quality reservoirs seen in the other wells and demonstrated an increased oil column in this area of the field,” said Cairn CEO Simon Thomson. Initial measurements show similar oil quality as seen in the SNE-1, SNE-2 and SNE-3 wells.

Although the separate Bellatrix exploration objective was found to be unpromising, tight gas-bearing sandstones, BEL-1 also found “two good quality gas-bearing sand reservoirs – combined net thickness of 8 metres – between the Bellatrix main objective and deeper SNE appraisal objective.”

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Speaking a month ago after BEL-1 had just spudded, Cairn’s exploration director Richard Heaton had said Bellatrix “could be a mix of gas and oil, just all one”. Interest in the Mauritania-Senegal offshore area has grown since US Kosmos made world-class gas discoveries further north.

Ocean Rig Athena will shortly drill a new appraisal well, SNE-4, located 5km southeast of the SNE-1 discovery well. It will be Cairn’s 6th well overall.

BEL-1 well, the fifth, was also drilled by the same rig in 1,032 meters water depth some 90km offshore in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block.

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Cairn has a 40% interest as operator in three blocks offshore Senegal, with ConocoPhillips 35%, Australia’s FAR 15% and local state PetroSen 10%.


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