Oil and gas explorer FAR has confirmed oil samples in the FAN-1 exploration well, offshore Senegal.

Located on the North Fan prospect in 1,500m water depth, the well is being drilled by FAR and its joint venture partners Cairn Energy, ConocoPhillips and the Senegalese national oil firm Petrosen.

The well, which has reached a depth of 4,402m, will be drilled further to a planned total depth of about 5,000m.

FAR and its partners discovered elevated gas and fluorescence in a shallow secondary target.

The drilling confirmed the presence of a working petroleum system and oil samples are subject to further analysis.

FAR managing director Cath Norman said: "The presence of oil in the secondary target is important in helping our geological understanding of the margin and is significant because it confirms the existence of a working petroleum generating system.

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"It is very pleasing that the building blocks of a working petroleum system are present and we look forward to drilling ahead to deeper objectives in FAN-1 and completing the SNE-1 well."

FAN-1 is the first exploration well in a two-well programme to be drilled sequentially.

The initial well is expected to contain about 900 million barrels of oil (mmbbls) with around 135mmbbls net to FAR.

The second well, dubbed SNE-1, is estimated to contain around 600mmbbls of oil with about 90mmbbls net to FAR.

FAR holds a 15% working interest in both the wells, which will test combined prospective resources of about 1.5 billion barrels of unrisked prospective resources.

Image: Location of the two Senegalese wells in the FAR 3D seismic area, offshore Senegal. Photo: courtesy of FAR Limited.

Defence Technology