ConocoPhillips announces second oil discovery in Senegal

ConocoPhillips and its partners struck oil with a second exploration well offshore West Africa in the Sangomar Deep block, the company said Monday.

The finding is the second of a two-well program in the block about 60 miles off the coast of Senegal. Last month, the Houston-based multinational energy company announced that oil had been discovered in the same block.

Related: ConocoPhillips strikes oil off Senegal

“We are encouraged by the presence of a working petroleum system in this frontier basin and are now evaluating further work to enhance our understanding of the two plays,” Larry Archibald, senior vice president of exploration said in a statement.

The discovery well, SNE-1, was drilled in nearly 3,600 feet of water and drilled to about 9,800 feet deep.

The first well, FAN-1, was drilled about 15 miles away in about 4,700 feet of water to a total depth of 16,164 feet.

Cairn Energy, an independent exploration and production company in Scotland that operates the well and holds a 40 percent interest, said initial analysis shows the well has “excellent reservoir sands” with as much as 118 feet of net oil pay.

“This is a significant oil find for Cairn and Senegal and based on preliminary estimates, is a commercial discovery and opens a new basin on the Atlantic Margin,” Cairn CEO Simon Thomson said in a statement.

Houston energy investment banking firm Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. said the recent discovery looks better than the initial one.

Further studies are needed to determine drilling plans for next year, Cairn said. ConocoPhillips, which holds a 35 percent stake in the well, said the well will continue drilling to a depth of about 10,000 feet once initial evaluations are complete.

ConocoPhillips has the option to take over as operator of the project if it advances to development, the company said.

The remaining stake is split between FAR Limited, an exploration and production company incorporated in Australia, which holds 15 percent, and Petrosen, Senegal’s state-run oil firm, which holds 10 percent.