Cairn Energy PLC entered into a farm-in agreement with Kosmos Energy and the Moroccan National Oil Company (ONHYM) for a 20% working interest (WI) in an exploration block offshore North West Africa that covers the Cap Boujdour Contract Area.
Cairn is looking to expand its existing Atlantic Margin portfolio.
“The new acreage offers transformational exploration potential in a frontier region where Cairn is already well established. We are delighted to be working with Kosmos who are a proven and valuable operating partner with a track record of exploration success in similar play types along the West African margin,” Simon Thomson, CEO of Cairn, said.
The permit is approximately 50km offshore Morocco, covering an area of 27,700sq km in the Aaiun Basin in water depths between 1000 - 3000m. The permit is covered by a regional 2D grid and 2,000sq km 3D seismic survaeys. Kosmos has identified three prospects within the 3D area with the largest of these, Gargaa located at approximately 2135m water depth.
The exploration permit enables access to frontier acreage that contains a range of exploration play types. The area has significant follow-up potential in the event of success.
According to the agreement, Cairn will pay a share of future exploration costs, including a 3D seismic survey, an initial exploration well in 2014 and, if successful, two appraisal wells, all subject to maximum expenditure limits.
According to Dallas-based Kosmos, drilling is set for the second half of 2014.
Brian F. Maxted, Chief Executive Officer of Kosmos Energy, commented, “Our farm-out with Cairn marks a significant step forward for Kosmos as we continue to advance our exploration plans while retaining a strategic position in the block and operatorship in one of the last undrilled petroleum systems along the Atlantic Margin,” nothing that the pre-drill farm out of the company’s Moroccan assets was concluded.
On its part, Cairn has begun drilling the F-1 wildcat on the F prospect offshore Morocco. The FD-I exploration well is located in 1500m of water approximately 120km offshore Morocco in the Foum Draa block). The well has a planned total depth of 5500m True Vertical Depth Sub Sea (TVDSS) and operations are anticipated to take approximately 60 days. Cairn is the operator of Foum Draa block with a 50% WI.
Transocean's Cajun Express semisubmersible drilling unit is being used for the well. On completion, it is due to move on to drill two wells offshore Senegal, also for Cairn.
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including Moroccan Government approvals.
After the transaction, operator Kosmos Energy will hold 55 interest, with Moroccan National Oil having 25% stake.
Map of Cairn's operations in Morocco, courtesy Cairn.