FAR discovers deep water elephants
World’s largest oil discovery for 2014: SNE oil field
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 (RSSD) 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-Conakry Basin. The SNE-1 discovery has subsequently been appraised with 7 successful wells over two drilling campaigns, completing in mid 2017. The appraisal proved the size and deliverability objectives and pre-FEED studies are currently being undertaken with FID expected mid 2019 and first oil in 2022.
In addition to the appraisal of the SNE field, FAR and it’s JV partners have made two more discoveries offshore Senegal with the FAN South-1 and SNE North-wells drilled in 2017. These discoveries, along with FAN-1 are yet to be appraised but demonstrate the prolific oil bearing nature of the source rocks in the basin.
A history of the discoveries in Senegal follows. 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
- Excellent reservoir with well-defined gas-oil-water contacts
- Oil gravity 32° API
- Gross oil column of 96 metres
- Contingent recoverable oil resource
– P90 (1C): 150 mmbbls
– P50 (2C): 330 mmbbls
– P10 (3C): 670 mmbbls
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) in the 2016 evaluation program.
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 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 2016 SNE 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.
In 2017, the Company and its joint venture partners drilled four successful wells to both appraise the SNE oil field and test two previously undrilled exploration prospects offshore Senegal. The SNE-5, VR-1 and SNE-6 wells were drilled to complete the appraisal of the SNE oil field and the FAN South-1 and SNE North-1 wells were drilled to test a new, undrilled prospect within tie-back range of a future development at SNE. Each well was drilled safely, efficiently, ahead of schedule and below budget.
The SNE-5, VR-1 and SNE-6 wells confirmed the following SNE field properties:
- ~100m gross oil column
- High quality 32° API oil
- Presence and correlation of principal reservoir units between each of the wells across the field
- Connectivity of upper reservoirs between the SNE-5 and SNE-6 wells
FAN South-1 found oil and gas bearing reservoir units and work is ongoing to integrate the well results and understand the significance of this well to future exploitation plans offshore Senegal.
This third drilling campaign was completed with the drilling of the SNE North-1 well, the eleventh successful well to be drilled offshore Senegal by the joint venture to date, with 100% success rate.
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).
The Development and Exploitation Plan for the SNE oil field offshore Senegal was submitted to the Government of Senegal by the joint venture in October 2018. The Development and Exploitation Plan outlines the full field multi-phase development of oil and gas and details how the field will be developed in a series of phases with plans for ~500 mmbbls of oil to be developed with a plateau production of 100,000 bbls oil per day with first oil expected in 2022.
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.
For further information and up-to-date progress on FAR’s Senegal licences, please visit the Announcements & Reports section of the Company website.