Australian oil exploration company Far Ltd. has announced plans to commence exploratory drilling for oil in the Samo Prospect, off the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, following a series of seismic surveys off in the area. The drilling intends to target Albian (late Early Cretaceous) sandstones thought likely to hold a reservoir of oil laid down in a deep sedimentary basin, and follows a series of successful exploratory well drillings in the SNB field in Senegalese waters, to the north of the site.
A2 and A5 prospects (which were acquired by Far in February this year) and leads showing Samo-1 well location. Far Ltd.
A previous exploration well dug in Gambian waters by Chevron in 1979 targeted what was thought to be a Turonian (Late Cretaceous) carbonate platform likely to host oil, however this well proved to be dry, and is now thought to have encountered material eroded from the reef, rather than the reef itself. There was renewed interest in the area in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with further seismic prospecting carried out, but this was abandoned following the 1994 coup which replaced the government of Dawda Jawara with that of Yahya Jammeh. The Jammeh regime was removed in 2017, following an election in 2016 which was won by the current president, Adama Barrow (Jammah did not initially recognise the result of this election, but eventually stood down following international pressure), and interest in prospecting in Gambian waters was quickly resumed.
Representation of the rocks of the A1 prospect off the Gambian coast (to the west of the area where Far intend drilling, showing the location of the Jammah-1 well drilled by Chevron in 1979, and a proposed new drilling site from 2013, labled Alhamdulilah. African Petroleum Corporation Limited.
Far believe there are likely to be two hydrocarbon layers reachable by the well, an upper reservoir of liquid rich natural gas and a lower oil layer. The target area forms part of the wider Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau-Conakry Basin, which is thought likely to contain a series of deepwater Jurassic and Cretaceous hydrocarbon reservoirs, with Fae already drilling in Senegalese waters and planning to do so in Guinea Bissau in the future.
Seismic depth section through the Samo prospect showing geological interpretation with reservoir intervals which are proven at SNE. Far Ltd.
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