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Elaine Reynolds
13 November 2018

Samo-1 hits water for FAR in Gambia

The first well to be drilled offshore The Gambia since 1979 has encountered water bearing sands in a disappointing result for operator FAR Limited. Samo-1 was targeting best estimate recoverable resources of 825mmbbls oil in shelf edge Albian sandstones located around 5km south of the Cairn operated SNE field in Senegal, in which FAR is also a partner. The well was an extension of and on trend with similar sands in SNE that had been successfully drilled and proven in nine exploration and appraisal wells. Samo-1 was located in Block A2, immediately adjacent to SNE and this proximity was reflected in the well being assigned a COS of 50%.

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Elaine Reynolds
25 September 2018

Tullow’s Namibian well disappoints

Tullow Oil’s Cormorant-1 well is being plugged and abandoned after encountering water bearing sands, in the latest well to be drilled in the Walvis Basin offshore Namibia. Interest from industry has been intensifying as it looks to capitalise on the 2013 breakthrough Wingat and Murombe wells, and the majors have been moving in, with ExxonMobil farming into two separate deals in 2018. Attention in the region will now switch to the south of Cormorant, as the Ocean Rig Poseidon moves to PEL 71 to drill Prospect S for Chariot Oil & Gas. Both Cormorant-1 and Prospect S were highlighted by us as wells to watch in our ‘Exploration Watch: 2018 exploration wells’ report.

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Elaine Reynolds
26 September 2017

Fatala well latest disappointment offshore West Africa

Results from Hyperdynamics’ Fatala-1 are the latest in a number of disappointing wells drilled offshore West Africa. It joins Ophir’s Ayame-1X well in Cote d’Ivoire and ExxonMobil’s Liberian well Mesurado-1 as highly anticipated exploration wells that have failed to deliver over the last year in an effort to extend the successes seen in Mauritania, Senegal and Ghana.

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Elaine Reynolds
21 March 2017

Wells to watch in 2017

Since the oil price crash of 2014, exploration has been particularly badly hit as companies looked to trim expenditure. Wood Mackenzie estimates that 2017 exploration will account for 8% of upstream expenditure, down from historic norms of 14%. In this more difficult environment, any surviving exploration has tended to be led by majors, for example ExxonMobil’s giant Liza discovery offshore Guyana in 2015. In our most recent Exploration Watch, we highlight wells due to spud in 2017 that involve independent companies, with resources estimates greater than 100mmboe. Our exception is the much anticipated multi-billion barrel potential Korpfjell prospect in the Barents Sea offshore Norway, which is operated by Statoil and partnered by major companies.

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Elaine Reynolds
17 January 2017

2017 Senegal appraisal to kick off in January

Cairn Energy confirmed today that it will return to drilling offshore Senegal by the end of January this year, with two firm wells designed to further evaluate its 473mmbbl SNE discovery. The Stena DrillMax is contracted for these two appraisal wells together with multiple follow on options yet to be confirmed but which could include exploration wells in addition to further appraisal.

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Will Forbes
5 March 2015

African Petroleum - Initiation


We initiate on African Petroleum (see link). Pure play E&Ps are not in favour of late as poor exploration results in recent years and the falling oil price has depressed sentiment. However, for investors willing to look through near-term oil prices and seek exposure to exploration risk, African Petroleum has ten offshore blocks with large working interest positions, many of which are very close to successful wells drilled in 2014 (not least SNE-1 and FAN-1 off Senegal, and Total off Côte d’Ivoire) - as seen below.

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