Cairn Energy has reported positive results from the drilling of its SNE North-1 exploration well offshore Senegal, which has encountered both oil and gas reserves in the primary objective.

Preliminary analysis following the drilling of the well revealed an estimated 24m of gross hydrocarbon column found across three intervals. The well also came across 11m net condensate and gas in what Cairn Energy says is a high quality reservoir in the primary objective.

In the deeper secondary objective, the SNE North-1 exploration well, located about 90km offshore in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block, had encountered 4m net oil in a good quality reservoir.

According to Cairn Energy, the oil encountered by the SNE North-1 exploration well is of a slightly lighter type of 35° API than the one discovered in the SNE Field.

The Edinburgh-based company said that it needs to carry out further work to determine the potential commerciality of the discovery, besides integrating the findings from the drilling program by using the block wide data collected till date.

Cairn Energy believes that the well results indicate positively at the presence of more hydrocarbons to the north of the structural trend that holds the SNE field and SNE North-1 discovery well. The well result also implies wider exploration potential in the license, said the oil and gas exploration and development firm.

Located 15km north of the SNE-1 discovery, the SNE North-1 exploration well is located in about 900m water depth and was drilled to a total depth of 2,837m.

Cairn Energy said that operations at the well were completed safely and successfully completed ahead of the target date and within the budget.

Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson said: “The SNE North well results are encouraging in terms of further prospectivity and implications for the full block potential offshore Senegal.

“We are delighted to have completed a safe and successful drilling programme in Senegal this year with the Stena DrillMAX. An update on resources and the SNE development plans will be provided at our interim results later this month.”

SNE North-1 is the fifth and final well of Cairn Energy’s drilling campaign in 2017. The well will now be plugged and abandoned while the Stena DrillMAX rig will be released from duty.

Cairn Energy added that along with partners Woodside, FAR and Petrosen, it is reviewing the potential for more exploration drilling activities in 2018 in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep offshore blocks in Senegal.

Image: Map showing locations of the SNE North-1 and other wells offshore Senegal. Photo: courtesy of Cairn Energy PLC.