Senegalese oil plans well funded, Australian company says

FAR Ltd. is at odds over who controls what offshore Senegal, but says the dispute shouldn't get in the way of the overall work plan.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  July 31, 2017 at 8:49 AM
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July 31 (UPI) -- With more than $90 million in cash, the capital is available to support the development of the rich oil reserves offshore Senegal, an Australian company said.

FAR Ltd., an Australian energy company and one of the early movers into West Africa, said two blocks offshore Gambia hold at least 1 billion barrels of oil. Offshore Senegal holds at least 1.5 billion barrels of oil. In a quarterly update, the company said it was able to raise revenue through a share placement to finance its work.

"The funds raised are being used to support FAR's ongoing drilling, evaluation and pre-development program offshore Senegal as well as other work such as 3D seismic reprocessing and interpretation during 2017 to mature prospects for drilling in 2018," a management statement read. "The capital raising has left FAR in a very strong financial position with $91.3 million in cash at quarters' end."

FAR is a minority shareholder offshore Senegal in a consortium led by Conoco Phillips. Australian rival Woodside Petroleum is vying for a lead position in the consortium, a quest contested by FAR Ltd.

"FAR notes that the arbitration procedure will occur in parallel with the normal activities of the Senegal joint venture and is not expected to cause any delays or interruption to any of this work," management said.

Tapping offshore Senegal using a drillship, the company said its ambitions so far are under budget. An extension to its drilling campaign should lead to a revision of the reserve estimate for Senegal.

Elsewhere, the company highlighted that the second quarter brought it control of two basins off the coast of Gambia.

"The acquisition is a significant expansion of FAR's exploration portfolio in the rapidly emerging offshore Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau Basin in West Africa," it said in a statement.

All told, the two basins in Gambia have the potential to hold more than 1 billion barrels of oil.

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