The FAN-1 oil discovery offshore Senegal announced by Cairn Energy and its joint venture partners on 07 October is exciting news for companies exploring this northwest African shelf. The basic play model is similar along the entire paleo continental shelf edge from Senegal to Guinea-Bissau and the discovery proves up the existence of a petroleum system that could open up exploration along the entire ~800 km coastline, just as the Jubilee oil discovery, the largest oil find offshore west Africa, did for Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2007.
Polarcus has two strategically located and brand new 3D multi-client surveys, totaling over 3,350 sq. km, on this shelf edge that come firmly into the spotlight on account of the discovery. One in the joint maritime commission zone between Senegal and Guinea-Bissau (known as the "AGC"), and the second offshore Guinea-Bissau in Block 7B. These modern multi-client projects were both acquired by the technologically advanced 3D seismic vessel Polarcus Naila in 2012/13, with the final broadband processed data volume delivered in December 2013. Subsequent detailed reconnaissance studies undertaken for Polarcus on the Guinea-Bissau data volume have highlighted several fault controlled fan systems on the shelf edge similar to those in Senegal.
The past challenge for explorers along this coastline has been to prove up the presence and maturity of the proposed Turonian age source rock. The FAN-1 well has demonstrated that the main risk of any source rock being present is very significantly reduced and its presence along the whole coastline can now be proposed with a high degree of confidence, with only its variation in richness and maturity remaining to be estimated.
It is expected that this new discovery will encourage explorers to take a fresh look along this entire shelf.
These projects form part of the Company's existing backlog that has been previously announced through the Oslo Stock Exchange.