West African explorer FAR Ltd. said Tuesday that an independent audit has uncovered at least 1 billion barrels of oil offshore Gambia.
FAR Ltd., an Australian company with a strong portfolio offshore West Africa, said an audit of geotechnical data show the Samo and Bambo prospects off the coast of Gambia hold combined best estimate prospective reserves of 1.1 billion barrels.
Australian energy company FAR Ltd. says there may be as much as 1 billion barrels off the coast of Gambia. Map courtesy of FAR Ltd.
According to the data, the Sama prospect in particular holds substantial promise, with an estimated chance of success of more than 50 percent. Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement that Gambia could be a "huge prize" if data analysis turn into real barrels.
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"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," she said.
The permit area offshore Gambia, which covers 1,000 square miles, is adjacent to FAR's flagship SNE discovery offshore Senegal. The initial oil discovery at the SNE field was made in 2014 and the find was quickly lauded as one of the larger discoveries in the world. The field met the minimum threshold to be considered a commercial opportunity by the third quarter of 2016.
West African countries have been at odds over their maritime borders, while officials there have been vetting their corporate options as the potential for oil evolves. In October, African Petroleum said its subsidiaries in Gambia filed requests for arbitration at an international dispute chamber to protect two of its offshore licenses.
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FAR's managing director in her statement acknowledged the support of Gambian authorities.
"We trust this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership," she said.
FAR's announcement came one day after Gambian authorities presented their oil and gas potential at a London energy conference. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said the event was meant to showcase the potential for additional licenses offshore.
By Daniel J. Graeber
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