GEO ExPro

First Offshore Licensing Round for Senegal

Senegal has been propelled to the forefront of industry news in recent years after several major oil and gas discoveries in its offshore waters.
This article appeared in Vol. 16, No. 6 - 2019

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First Offshore Licensing Round for Senegal

Senegal has been propelled to the forefront of industry news in recent years after several major discoveries in its offshore waters, including two ‘basin opening’ oil discoveries, FAN and SNE. Since then, further hydrocarbon discoveries in Senegalese waters and in those of its neighbours, such as the 25 Tcfg Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project and the Yakaar-1 gas well – the largest gas discovery of 2015 and the largest global discovery of 2017 respectively – have increased interest in the potential of the country. The recent announcement by Petrosen, the National Oil Company of Senegal, that it will launch the country’s first offshore licensing round in 2020 has therefore been met with some excitement by the industry.

  • Location of offshore blocks available in Senegal's first oil and gas licensing round.

Senegal is situated in the north-west African Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea Bissau-Conakry Basin, a passive margin basin of Middle Jurassic to Holocene age, which overlies a Palaeozoic basin. It has experienced three broad tectonic phases: the Palaeozoic pre-rift, followed by a Triassic-Early Jurassic rift and a mid-Jurassic to present drift phase. The post-rift section comprises a Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous carbonate platform overlain by an Early to Late Cretaceous transgressive and regressive sequence. A globally regressive Upper Cretaceous clastic sequence terminates at the Base Tertiary Unconformity.

Known source rocks are found in the Early, Middle and Late Cretaceous, and source rock character is thought to improve westwards with the establishment of more anoxic conditions. Reservoirs range from Upper Cretaceous deltaic sands and Lower Cretaceous outer basin sands, as found in the recent discoveries, while the deeper offshore is expected to have Upper Cretaceous turbiditic reservoirs.

Petrosen have partnered with seismic companies TGS, GeoPartners and PGS and as a result over 14,000 km of 2D and 10,000 km2 of 3D data are available, as well as over 50,000 km2 of multibeam data with associated shallow cores and geochemistry. 

On offer are ten offshore blocks varying in size from 2,050 km2 to nearly 8,000 km2 and totalling over 66,600 km2. The majority are situated in ultra-deep water of 3,000-4,000m, with only one block lying in waters less than 1,000m deep. The round will officially open on 31 January 2020 and will close on 31 July 2020. The initial time period is of four years and Petrosen have a carried interest of 10% during the exploration phase and up to 30% working interest after a commercial discovery.

Further Reading on Oil & Gas Activity in Senegal

The Gambia: The Next Major Oil Play?
Tony Pedley, Polarcus
The SNE and FAN discoveries in neighboring Senegal have opened up a new oil-prone fairway with multiple play types extending to the south into Gambian waters.
This article appeared in Vol. 13, No. 3 - 2016

Senegal Revisited
Jane Whaley
In 2010 we reported that after over 50 years of exploration, Senegal had only delivered a number of small fields and produced 11 Bcf of gas, but was still waiting for the big discovery which would help fuel the country’s growing economy. We asked the question - does the prize lie in the deepwaters? In 'Senegal Revisited' we look again at this exciting country, at a time when answers to some of those questions may be about to be made.
This article appeared in Vol. 7, No. 4 - 2015

Offshore Senegal: Sud Profond 3D Illustrates Potential
Nicolas Hand and David Jackson, Dolphin Geophysical Multi-Client New Ventures
Recent discoveries indicate the potential of the Sud Profond Offshore Senegal Region.
This article appeared in Vol. 12, No. 2 - 2015

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