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Potential for 1.1 billion bbls of oil offshore The Gambia

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Oilfield Technology,


  • FAR has undertaken a detailed geotechnical evaluation for its 2 offshore blocks in The Gambia.
  • and completed an assessment of hydrocarbon resources.
  • An independent resources review conducted by RISC for FAR’s A2 & A5 The Gambia Blocks supports FAR’s assessment.
  • Combined Prospective Resources for the two blocks assessed at 1.1 billion barrels* (unrisked, Best Estimate, recoverable, 100% basis) with 926 million barrels net to FAR.
  • The Samo prospect is on trend with the world class SNE oil Field, offshore Senegal.
  • Operations are underway to prepare for drilling in late 2018.

Prospective Resource upgrade

FAR has completed detailed geotechnical studies and assessed significant hydrocarbon resource potential in its two blocks offshore The Gambia. The Blocks A2 and A5 permit area, covering 2682 km2, are adjacent to and on trend with FAR’s world class SNE oil field discovery and have significant exploration potential. A2 and A5 sit within the rapidly emerging and prolific Mauritania-SenegalGuinea-Bissau (“MSGB”) Basin and lie approximately 30 km offshore in water depths ranging from 50 to 1500 m.

From 1504 km2 of modern 3D seismic data acquired in A2 and A5, FAR has identified large prospects similar to the “shelf edge” plays FAR has successfully drilled in Senegal. FAR has mapped two drillable prospects, Samo and Bambo and additional leads in the blocks.

An independent oil and gas advisory firm, RISC Operations Pty Ltd (RISC), has conducted an audit of FAR’s internal estimate of Prospective Resources for the Samo and Bambo prospects located in The Gambia permits A2 and A5. The Bambo prospect has been identified following recent mapping of the 3D seismic and targets a separate reservoir objective on the same structural trend as the Samo prospect. The two prospects have a combined best estimate Prospective Resource of 1.1 billion bbls on a gross unrisked basis (926 million bbls net to FAR) as set out in Table 1 below. RISC’s report of the assessment of the probabilistic resources confirms it was carried out in accordance with industry standard SPE-PRMS practices.

The Samo prospect has two target intervals, is on trend and shares many similarities with the giant SNE oil field. As such it is very highly rated with an estimated chance of success (CoS) in one or both targets, endorsed by RISC, of 55%. It is rare to have an exploration prospect with such a high CoS but this reflects the adjacent discovery at SNE and the confidence FAR Limited has developed in exploring in the play fairway which is yet to experience a dry well. The Bambo play type is less understood but the Bambo prospect is still highly regarded with a CoS of 18%. More work will be carried out to improve our understanding of the play and to further derisk the prospect.

FAR has also mapped a number of large leads in Block A5. This is in an area of poorer data quality and extends outside the 3D seismic coverage. These leads will be the subject of further mapping when the reprocessing of the seismic survey is available.

FAR Managing Director, Cath Norman, said:

“Since making the discoveries at SNE and FAN offshore Senegal, and subsequently at FAN South and SNE North, it has been FAR’s core strategy to build on our geological knowledge, contacts and nimbleness in the market to add high quality drilling opportunities in the MSGB Basin for our shareholders.

As the RISC audit testifies, the opportunity we have captured in Blocks A2 and A5 offshore The Gambia represent a huge prize if successful. Given the eight successful wells drilled on the shelf to date in Senegal and into the key reservoirs in the Samo prospect, the geological chance of success for drilling this prospect is high for a frontier exploration well. The Samo well will be the only exploration well to be drilled offshore The Gambia since the Jammah-1 well drilled in 1979.

Success in this well at the scale that RISC has supported would be truly transformational for the people of The Gambia and FAR is proud to again be in the privileged position of delivering the country’s first, modern exploration well as we were in 2014 in Senegal. FAR wishes to acknowledge the cooperation and support of the Gambia Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC) as we continue with our drilling preparations. We trust this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership.”

Gambian operations

Following Government approval of the assignment of FAR’s 80% interest in Blocks A2 and A5, FAR as Operator of the Block A2 and A5 joint venture has progressed the licence work program including well planning activities.

FAR’s Gambia office was opened in September 2017 and its in country team of 5 personnel is focused on managing Government and in country stakeholder interfaces and relationships. Well planning and preparation activites are progressing with; long lead items ordered, well design planning underway and preparation of an enviromental impact assessment and contingency plan commenced. Rig and shore base options are being investigated. FAR’s long term regional presence provides the opportunity to draw on regional expertise and synergies in project delivery.

Geotechnical studies are progressing including reprocessing of the Block A2 and A5 3D seismic data by Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) with the aim of improving the data quality for optimising the location and design of the anticipated Samo exploration well.

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