Australian oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd., which has a strong African footprint, said new drilling started in a survey of a bright spot off the coast of Senegal.
FAR said it started drilling a new appraisal well, SNE-5, in the SNE complex off the Senegalese coast. The company said information taken from the new appraisal program will help "fine-tune" the concept for full field development.
"This area represents one of the world's most attractive emerging basins for oil and gas exploration," Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement.
The company estimates the SNE field could hold up to 641 million barrels of oil. Its development comes as the energy sector rebounds alongside crude oil prices and FAR, which has headquarters in Australia, said its offshore costs have declined more than 20 percent since 2014.
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. Another appraisal well in the southern portion of the field is imminent.
"SNE-5 is the first of two new wells that will further evaluate the potential of the SNE oil field," she said.
SNE could start producing by 2022 and FAR said it was primed for continued success through 2017.
For SNE production, a floating production storage and offloading concept is envisioned with a peak production rate of 140,000 barrels of oil per day.