Oil potential in West Africa building

June 22 (UPI) — Oil prospects from frontier basins in West Africa could unlock reserves in excess of 30 million barrels, Savannah Petroleum announced Friday.

The British company, focused on West Africa, said Friday it completed its third well in a drilling campaign in Niger. Drilling in the well, dubbed Kunama-1, was aimed at assessing the potential oil payout from the landlocked country.

Savannah said it estimated the unrisked recoverable reserves at the Kunama prospect at 35 million barrels. Final results from Kunama-1 are pending.

Broader West Africa is emerging as a lucrative frontier for oil and gas explorers. Offshore West Africa is gaining a reputation as an emerging producer and Senegal in particular could hold more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil off its coast.

Cairn Energy is leading the development of the SNE oil field off the coast of Senegal. Joint venture partners in March completed a study of a 2,900 square mile permit area off the coast of Senegal that includes the flagship SNE oil discovery. The results revealed another 198 million barrels to the estimated 641 million barrels in the best estimate scenario of contingent reserves.

Oil and gas engineering services company Wood was awarded the initial phase of a front-end engineering design contract in May to help build momentum behind a proposed pipeline in Kenya. French supermajor Total, a partner in the Lokichar fields, committed to a single pipeline to the port city of Lamu as the only option for exports.