Gambia’s Commissioner Petroleum Mr. Jerreh Barrow, has confirmed that the
Australian petroleum company licensed to explore oil offshore Gambia has indeed
contracted a drillship in anticipation of the planned drilling in the last
quarter of 2018.
“Drilling is scheduled for the fourth quarter and will last about 40 days. It will be the first well drilled offshore Gambia in 40 years.” A Washington-based United Press International (UPI) reported this week that FAR last week selected a final well location for Samo Project, a frontier drilling effort off the coast of Gambia.
“First and foremost exploration could simply be defined as ‘searching’ in the case of oil, ‘searching for oil’ which has been going on in The Gambia for decades! What is new and scheduled to take place is the ‘exploration drilling’ which means drilling a well to confirm the presence or otherwise of petroleum. This is scheduled to take place in the 4th quarter of 2018,” Mr. Barrow said in an email in response to questions sent this week.
FAR Oil has partnered with the Malaysian National Oil Company (PETRONAS) to execute the drilling this year. According to reports, PETRONAS took a 40 percent stake in the Samo prospect for $6 million in cash and agreed to fund 80 percent of the exploration costs for the first well, up to a maximum of $45 million after reviewing seismic data to get a better understanding of the reserve potential in frontier prospects.
UPI reported that two Gambian blocks combine for an estimated 1 billion barrels of unrisked barrels of oil and are in close proximity to the SNE oil field offshore Senegal, one of the largest finds in recent years.
FAR’s joint venture partners in March completed a geotechnical study of a 2,900-square-mile permit area off the coast of Senegal that includes the flagship SNE oil discovery. The results revealed another 198 million barrels to the estimated 641 million barrels in the best estimate scenario of contingent reserves.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Petroleum explains that the FAR (and now PETRONAS) work obligations for this licence period principally include Geology and Geophysical studies “and most importantly the drilling of an exploration well”
FAR already has a drillship contracted for the well. The Australian company estimates the Samo prospect contains prospective resources of 825 million barrels of oil.