US operator ConocoPhillips has agreed to acquire a 35% stake in three contiguous blocks offshore Senegal, West Africa, through two deals announced today.
ConocoPhillips is to acquire a 25% interest in the three blocks from Scotland-based Cairn Energy and a further 10% in the same blocks from Australian-listed explorer FAR.
The blocks are Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep, covering about 7490sq km within the Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea Bissau basin, with about 1050sq km of 3D seismic data coverage.
Cairn says an exploration campaign, expected to start in H1 2014, will target a block-wide potential of more than 1.5 billion bbls of undiscovered resource, with a proposed two-well program. Drilling will be with Transocean’s 5th generation Cajun Express semisubmersible rig, for which Cairn has a long-term contract.
FAR said the exploration campaign will test a shelf play and a deeper water fan play. It said the two prospects identified have, together, prospective resources of 1.1billion bbl.
FAR has estimated total prospective resources in the Senegalese blocks as 3.58 billion bbls.
Cairn will retain operatorship and 40% interest in the blocks during the exploration phase. Petrosen, the Senegal National Oil Company, will retain its 10% interest in the exploration phase, and FAR will hold 15%.
In the event of a commercial success, ConocoPhillips would have the option to become operator.
Cairn took over operatorship of the blocks from FAR earlier this year, after agreeing to farm-in to the acreage, giving it 65% interest. This left FAR with 25% and Petrosen, the Senegal National Oil Company, with its 10%.