EDINBURGH, Scotland, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- There's a significant resource base from African basins and new output is expected from operations closer to home in the North Sea, Cairn Energy said.
The company, which has its headquarters in Scotland, said Tuesday that it has the funding on hand to move forward with its commitments for the year. Its focus for 2017 is on Senegal and the North Sea.
Cairn estimates the SNE field off the coast of Senegal is a viable commercial opportunity so long as crude oil prices stay above the current rate of around $50 per barrel. Its minority partner at the field, FAR Ltd., estimates SNE holds up to 641 million barrels of oil in a field already drilled six times by Cairn.
"The next 12 months will be an eventful period for Cairn," Chief Executive Simon Thomson said in a statement. "We will shortly embark on further exploration and appraisal drilling in Senegal and we continue to work towards first oil and cashflow from our North Sea assets."
Cairn said that it aims to further delineate the SNE field offshore Senegal, which could start producing by the early part of the next decade. Two fields in the North Sea -- Catcher and Kraken -- should start producing oil for the company for the first time this year.
Cairn's update is a preliminary estimate for results through Dec. 31. Full guidance will be announced in March, though the company said its developments in the North Sea already saw total project spending decline by $600 million to $1.6 billion.
A North Sea review from consultant group Wood Mackenzie found more than a dozen new oil and natural gas fields are expected to enter into production this year. While new developments looking forward are scarce, about 30 percent of the production by 2020 will come from fields like Catcher and Kraken that aren't yet fully operational.