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Senegal primed as one of the next big oil players

FAR Ltd., a company with a focus on Africa, said development plans are underway.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Senegal primed as one of the next big oil players
Australian energy company FAR Ltd. says field planning for the SNE reservoir offshore Senegal is under way. Image courtesy FAR Ltd.

MELBOURNE, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Companies working to exploit frontier oil reserves are working to submit field development plans as quickly as possible, a top executive said.

Africa-focused FAR Ltd. said the SNE field off the coast of Senegal, which could hold up to 641 million barrels of oil, is in the development planning stage.

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"The Senegal joint venture is progressing towards the submission of a development plan for the SNE field as quickly and efficiently as possible," Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement.

The Senegalese development comes at a time when energy companies are reviewing their portfolio options against a price for crude oil that's about half what it was two years ago. FAR, which has headquarters in Australia, said, however, that its offshore costs have declined more than 20 percent since 2014. Its operating partner, Cairn Energy, estimates the field has good commercial potential with crude oil prices at around their current rate of $50 per barrel.

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Norman said the estimated development and operating costs for the SNE field are relatively low and the break-even price for oil is competitive in the current market.

"This economic analysis implies SNE is a robust and potentially commercially viable project," she said.

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During the third quarter, the company said the oil field met the minimum threshold to be considered a commercial opportunity. That statement came less than two years after the field was discovered.

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For production, a floating production storage and offloading concept is envisioned with a peak production rate of 140,000 barrels of oil per day.

The company said development planning is underway and the field could start producing oil by 2022.

RELATED Development plans for Senegalese oil unveiled

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