May 19 (UPI) -- Financing is in place to support development of the emerging oil basins offshore Senegal, while new output is expected from the North Sea, Cairn Energy said.
Cairn, one of Europe's leading independent oil and gas exploration and development companies, said it was moving ahead on exploiting the developing basins off the coast of Senegal.
The company, which has a controlling interest in some of the operations in the oil basins off the coast of Senegal, said this week it has enough data from the SNE field in Senegal to start preparations for submitting development plans to the government next year. A final investment decision for development is expected in the early 2020s.
"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 centers, type and number of wells and the subsea infrastructure," Chief Executive Simon Thomson said in a statement.
Hailed as one of the largest discoveries when declared in 2014, the companies tied to Senegal say that SNE, combined with other exploration developments, indicate there may be more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil offshore.
Closer to home in the British waters of the North Sea, the company said the Catcher and Kraken oil fields are on pace to start producing oil later this year. Combined, the fields will add another 25,000 barrels of oil per day to Cairn's portfolio. There are plans in place to drill more in the North and Barents seas this summer.
"We are fully funded to deliver this program and meet all our commitments," Thomson said. "We currently have around $254 million cash on our balance sheet."
Australian energy company FAR Ltd., a minority partner offshore Senegal, said in April it generated about $60 billion in capital through a placement of shares that it would use to finance developments off the coast of West Africa.