Cairn Energy stresses Senegal, North Sea potential

Edinburgh-based oil and gas company Cairn Energy on Friday stressed the potential of its work in Senegal and the North Sea in a statement ahead of its annual general meeting.

Cairn CEO Simon Thomson said 2016 was a year of excellent progress, providing a strong platform for further activity in 2017.

Thomson said that this year, Cairn would commence production in the North Sea, progress the SNE field in Senegal towards development, drill material exploration wells in Senegal and Ireland, and continue to work on new exploration and development opportunities from existing assets and from new ventures.

Thomson will tell the AGM: “In Senegal, we have confirmed the scale and potential of the world class SNE field, having successfully drilled nine wells in three years.

“Following appraisal success in 2016 which saw us upgrade our resource estimates, we commenced the third phase of drilling in January and have drilled three successful wells this year with a further exploration well shortly commencing.

“The near-term focus in Senegal is defining the scale and phasing of the overall SNE field development including the balance between the number of drilling centres, type and number of wells and the subsea infrastructure.

“As previously indicated, we aim to submit an Exploitation Plan to the Government of Senegal in 2018 with a Final Investment Decision within twelve months thereafter and first oil in the period 2021 to 2023.

“Cairn currently anticipates providing an update on contingent resource estimates at the half year in August when the results of the latest wells will be further analysed and incorporated into the design and development plan for the SNE field.”

In the UK North Sea, Thomson said both the Catcher and Kraken developments remained significantly below their original budgets and both were on schedule to target first oil this year. 

Together, they would deliver “around 25,000 barrels of oil a day on plateau net to Cairn” generating significant cash flows for reinvestment.

Elsewhere, Thomson said Cairn had secured additional licences both in the North Sea and Barents Sea and farmed in to a number of interesting prospects offshore Ireland, where it planned to drill an exploration well in the Southern Porcupine basin this summer.

Thomson said international arbitration proceedings were progressing in respect of Cairn’s claim under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty for the restitution of $1 billion of assets frozen in 2014, with a date set for the final arbitration hearing in January 2018. 

“We expect a ruling soon thereafter and remain confident in our position,” said Thomson.