16 October 2014, Dakar – Senegal will award exploration licences for two offshore oil blocks by the end of the year, the head of state-run hydrocarbons corporation Petrosen said on Wednesday.
The announcement comes days after Cairn Energy announced it had made an offshore oil discovery that Petrosen said was one of the biggest in Senegal’s history.
Faye would not give the names of the firms who had shown interest in the new licences. He said Petrosen will look for funds to explore a third block for itself.
Firms have explored for oil offshore and onshore in Senegal for decades but none of the finds have been commercially viable.
Last week, Petrosen signed a $400 million “farm-in” agreement with Kosmos Energy for a 60 percent stake in the Cayar and St. Louis offshore blocks.
Cairn owns a 40 percent interest in three-block joint venture in which ConocoPhillips has 35 percent, FAR Ltd 15 percent and Petrosen 10 percent.
Speaking of Cairn’s announcement last week, Faye said. “This is a real discovery. It is not fiction. It is one of the biggest oil finds ever in Senegal.”
Cairn and Petrosen estimate the deep Sangomar offshore holds 250 million proven barrels and 2.5 billion probable barrels.
“Evaluations of the discovery are ongoing with the objective of determining the extent of deposit and elaborating a development plan for production,” Faye said.
*Diadie Ba; Bate Felix; David Lewis & David Evans – Reuters