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Senegal moves towards first oil

The Cairn-led SNE venture must now convert some of the world's largest recent discoveries into viable production

After a hectic three years of frequent discoveries and expanding ambitions, resulting in reserve estimates of at least 0.56bn barrels of oil, drilling activity has temporarily paused on the SNE development. But while Cairn Energy's base in Dakar is quiet, behind the scenes plenty is going on as the project partners seek an agreement with the government over development plans. A final investment decision is due by year-end. "It's just as busy, it's just not headline drilling activity," Simon Thomson, Cairn's chief executive, told Petroleum Economist. "There is an enormous amount going on in relation to the preparation for the development plan and the related work on placing contracts for al

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