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Image courtesy of Cairn Energy.

UK-based Cairn said Tuesday that its FAN-1 exploration well in offshore Senegal has discovered oil.

The well reached a target depth of 16,164 feet and was targeting multiple stacked deepwater fans.

FAN-1 is located in a water depth of 4,681 feet, about 62 miles off the coast of Senegal in the Sangomar Deep block.

Preliminary analysis indicates 95 feet of net oil bearing reservoir in Cretaceous sandstones.

No water contact was encountered in a gross oil bearing interval of more than 1,640 feet.

A number of recovered oil samples have so far indicated distinct oils types ranging from 28° API up to 41° API.

Initial estimates at FAN-1 place proven reserves at 250 million barrels of oil with probable reserves estimated at 950 million barrels of oil.

Cairn has no plans for immediate well testing.

Further evaluation will be required to calibrate the well with existing 3D seismic data in order to determine future plans and optimal follow up locations.

FAN-1 is the third well in Cairn’s North West Africa program and its first well in Senegal.

The well was drilled using the semi-submersible drilling unit “Cajun Express.”

Once operations are completed on the FAN-1 well, the rig will move to complete the second well, SNE-1, where the top hole has been drilled pending re-entry.

Cairn has a 40 percent working interesting in three offshore Senegal blocks: Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore and Rusifique.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips has 35 percent working interest in the blocks, Australia-based FAR Ltd 15 percent working interest and Senegal’s state owned Petrosen holds a ten percent working interest in the blocks.

The three blocks cover 2,891 square miles.