Cairn Energy has re-entered the second appraisal well to be drilled on the SNE oilfield, 100km offshore of Senegal.

Joint venture partner Far said that the SNE-3 well will be drilled to a total depth of about 2,782m and is expected to be followed by an evaluation programme, which will involve coring, logging and flow testing.

The SNE-3 well is located about 3km south of the initial SNE-1 discovery well and will further evaluate the potential of the SNE oil field.

The new well follows the first appraisal well at SNE-2, which flowed oil at 8,000 barrels per day constrained and estimated at over 10,000 barrels per day on an unconstrained basis.

The SNE-3 was drilled to a depth of 1,755m using the Ocean Rig Athena before drilling the SNE-2 well.

SNE-3 is expected to reach total depth after restarting drilling and the completion of coring in the latter part in February.

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"FAR estimates the SNE discovery to have around 200 million barrels of recoverable oil."

FAR estimates the SNE discovery to have around 200 million barrels of recoverable oil.

The appraisal programme is aimed at progressing towards proving a minimum economic field size for the SNE discovery and determining flow rates for the planning future development.

Cairn also plans to drill a third well in its current Senegal campaign, an exploration well on the Bellatrix prospect.

The BEL-1 well will be drilled after completion of SNE-3.

Cairn operates the Senegal joint venture with a 40% interest and the remaining partners are ConocoPhillips (35%), Far (15%) and Petrosen (10%).

Image: Location of SNE-2, SNE-3 and BEL-1 evaluation wells. Photo: courtesy of FAR Limited.