The "world-class" SNE oil field offshore Senegal contains at least 560 MMbbl, justifying "a significant commercial development," according to a partner on the deepwater project.
The increase, given by FAR following an independent assessment of the field's contingent resources, is a 20% increase on the past 2C contingent resource estimate and well above the firm's 200 MMbbl estimate for a minimum economic field size for SNE, also known as Shelf Edge.
FAR's latest estimate, provide by independent consultancy RISC, follows the results of the SNE-2 and SNE-3 appraisal wells and final reprocessed 3D seismic data over the area. But it doesn't include results from the latest successful appraisal well, BEL-1, on the Bellatrix prospect and SNE, which means that the numbers are likely to increase further.
Cairn Energy is operator on the license, which sits in more than 1000m water depth.
FAR Managing Director Cath Norman said: “Appraisal drilling results to date indicate the SNE field could be a world class oil deposit which could justify a signifiant commercial development.
"Following the completion of the successful BEL-1 well, our current appraisal drilling program will continue shortly with the spudding of the SNE-4 well. In due course, we look forward to providing RISC’s further independent updates on SNE field contingent resources which incorporate the BEL-1 and SNE-4 well results.”
The drilling program is using the Ocean Rig Athena drillship. Shelf Edge was described as potentially the largest oil discovery in 2014 by analysts Wood Mackenzie.