Gambia: A billion barrels of oil found offshore

Gambia: A billion barrels of oil found offshore

Two offshore Gambia blocks have been assessed at a combined potential of 1.1bn barrels of oil, according to a statement released by FAR Limited.

The Australian-based company has undertaken a comprehensive geotechnical evaluation of the blocks off the west coast of Africa, covering an area of 2,692 sq km, approximately 30km offshore in water depths ranging from 50 to 1,500m.

These blocks, A2 and A5, are adjacent to FAR’s SNE field discovery off the coast of Senegal. The combined prospective resources assessment of barrels is based on an unrisked best estimate with 926mn barrel net to FAR.

A total of 1,504 sq km og 3D seismic data has been acquired and FAR has mapped two drillable prospects, Samo and Bambo, as well as additional leads in the blocks. Operations are now underway to prepare for drilling in late 2018.

“Since making the discoveries at SNE and FAN offshore Senegal, and subsequently at FAN South and SNE North, it has been FAR’s core strategy to build our geological knowledge, contacts, and nimbleness in the market to add high-quality drilling opportunities in the MSGB Basin for our shareholders,” said Cath Norman, FAR’s managing director.

“Given the eight successful wells drilled on the shelf to date in Senegal and into the key reservoirs in the Samo prospect, the geological chance of success for drilling this prospect is high for a frontier exploration well.”

The initial oil discovery at the SNE field was made in 2014 and the find was quickly lauded as one of the larger discoveries in the world. The field met the minimum threshold to be considered a commercial opportunity by the third quarter of 2016.

West African countries have been at odds over their maritime borders, while officials there have been vetting their corporate options as the potential for oil evolves.

In October, African Petroleum said its subsidiaries in Gambia filed requests for arbitration at an international dispute chamber to protect two of its offshore licenses.

FAR’s announcement came one day after Gambian authorities presented their oil and gas potential at a London energy conference. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said the event was meant to showcase the potential for additional licenses offshore.

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