Senegal 2017-07-11T11:43:46+00:00

FAR discovers deep water elephants

Offshore Senegal (FAR 15%)
Two world class oil discoveries in the FAN-1 and SNE-1 wells offshore Senegal

FAR (15% interest) made two world class oil discoveries, FAN-1 and the SNE-1, in the Sangomar Deep portion of its offshore Senegal PSC in late 2014. These two “basin opening” discoveries, dramatically changed global oil industry perceptions of the region’s petroleum prospectivity, transforming Senegal into one of the world’s most sought after exploration destinations.The Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep offshore Production Sharing Contract (PSC) covers an area of approximately 7,490 kilometres² over the shelf, slope, and basin floor of the Senegalese portion of the productive Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau Basin. Both the FAN-1 and the SNE-1 exploration wells met or exceeded key pre-drill objectives and each discovery has the potential to justify a stand-alone oil development project.



On 7 October 2014, FAN-1 preliminary well results revealed:

  • 29 metres of net oil bearing reservoir in Cretaceous age sandstones,
  • A gross oil bearing interval of more than 500 metres,
  • No oil/water contacts encountered,
  • Distinct oil types ranging from 28° API up to 41° API from a number of oil samples recovered to surface.
  • Operator gross stock-tank oil initially in place (STOIIP)*
    – P90: 250 million barrels (“mmbbls”)
    – P50: 950 mmbbls
    – P10: 2,500 mmbbls
*Cairn Energy PLC (Operator) investor announcement dated 07/10/2014.

On 10 November 2014, SNE-1 discovered high-quality, light oil, in a Cretaceous trap displaying:

  • Excellent reservoir with well-defined gas-oil-water contacts
  • Oil gravity 32 degrees API
  • Gross oil column of 96 metres
  • Contingent recoverable oil resource*
    – P90 (1C): 150 mmbbls
    – P50 (2C): 330 mmbbls
    – P10 (3C): 670 mmbbls
*Cairn Energy PLC (Operator) investor announcement dated 10/11/2014. The SNE resource estimates have subsequently been upgrade by both Cairn and FAR (refer section SNE Resource Upgrades)

A formal Notice of Discovery for each of the wells has been issued to the Government of Senegal in accordance with the PSC (Petroleum Sharing Contract) terms.

In May 2015, FAR and its Senegal joint venture partners submitted a three year evaluation program that was subsequently approved by Senegal Presidential decree which extended the Senegal PSC by three years to February 2019. The evaluation work program included an initial firm, three well drilling program (SNE-2, BEL-1 and SNE-3) and a 3D seismic survey. These wells were successfully and safely drilled ahead of schedule and below budget which justified a joint venture decision to drill a fourth well (SNE-4).

The SNE-2, SNE-3, BEL-1 and SNE-4 wells confirmed the following SNE field properties:

  • ~100 metres gross oil column
  • High quality 32? API oil
  • Presence and correlation of principal reservoir units

In addition, flow tests from SNE-2 and SNE-3 have indicated the potential for commercially viable well production rates.

The Senegal joint venture operator, Cairn Energy PLC, released the Ocean Rig Athena drill ship after completion of SNE-4 operations. This pause in drilling activity provided valuable time to analyse and integrate new geological information obtained from the four wells drilled, including integrating data from the extensive flow tests conducted on SNE-2 and SNE-3 and a total of 612 metres of core collected from the new wells.

The successful completion of the 2015/2016 SNE oil field appraisal drilling and evaluation program has also allowed the SNE project to move to the pre-FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) stage, with joint venture studies focussed on an SNE anchor development project with scope for expansion and tie-backs.

Further geological and engineering studies and new drilling operations planned from early 2017 are required to confirm the size and scope of a future SNE development project

SNE Resource Upgrades

RISC Operations Pty Ltd (“RISC”) a leading industry independent technical expert has provided three Independent Resources Reports to FAR for the SNE oil field, in accordance with industry standard Society of Petroleum Engineers (“SPE”) and Petroleum Resource Management System (“PRMS”) definitions.

In February 2016, RISC reported a material increase to the estimates previously reported by FAR and Cairn Energy PLC shortly after the discovery of the field in late 2014 (Refer: FAR ASX announcement 10 November 2014) with the SNE field 2C contingent resource increasing by 42% to 468 mmbbls (100% basis, recoverable) (Refer: FAR ASX announcement 8 February 2016).

Following the drilling of two successful appraisal wells SNE-2 and SNE-3, RISC reviewed and modified the probabilistic resource evaluation carried out by FAR. In April 2016, RISC reported a further increase to the estimates previously highlighted by FAR in February with the SNE field 2C contingent resource increasing by 20% to 561 mmbbls (100% basis, recoverable) (Refer: FAR ASX announcement 13 April 2016).

Following the drilling of a further two successful appraisal wells, BEL-1 and SNE-4, RISC again reviewed and modified the probabilistic resource evaluation carried out by FAR. In August 2016, RISC reported a further increase to the estimates previously highlighted by FAR in April 2016, with the SNE field 2C contingent resource increasing by 14% to 641 mmbbls (100% basis, recoverable) (Refer: FAR ASX announcement 23 August 2016).

SNE oil field commercial viability confirmed

FAR has independently assessed SNE to be a commercially viable project after achieving the Minimum Economic Field Size threshold. FAR completed pre-engineering studies with engineering consultancy AMOG and prepared an SNE field concept development plan based on its P50 (2C) Contingent Resource estimate of 641 mmbbls. The company’s development concept represents a phased FPSO project with a production plateau of 140,000 bbbls/d and first oil expected from 2022.


FAR entered into a farm-in option agreement with TAOL Senegal (Djiffere) Ltd, a subsidiary of Trace Atlantic Oil Ltd in which Cap Energy Plc holds a 49% participation. The Djiffere Block offshore Senegal is located adjacent to FAR’s Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep Blocks. Under its agreements with Trace, FAR has the option to earn a 75% working interest in the Djiffere Block by drilling an exploration well before 31 July 2018 (subject to Government approvals).

Senegal: stable & democratic

Senegal is one of Africa’s most politically and economically stable countries and hosts some of the best transportation, telecommunications and communication infrastructure in West Africa. Senegal has been a functioning democracy since independence from France in 1960 and enjoys free and fair elections. In July 2013, Senegal made a submission to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which symbolises the ambition of Senegal to make good governance a reality in the management of public affairs and its intention to make the extractive sector an engine of economic growth. Standard & Poor rates Senegal’s sovereign credit rating as B+/B and the country has a projected growth rate of 6% in 2017, one of the strongest in Africa.

More information

For further information and up-to-date progress on FAR’s Senegal licences, please visit the Announcements & Reports section of the Company website.