Cairn Energy is gearing up to start the third phase of its drilling program offshore Senegal in late January, aiming to further evaluate the SNE discovery, Offshore Energy Today reported.

Cairn added the company and its partners are benefiting from the lower cost environment and significant availability of high-quality rigs, Offshore Magazine informed.

Cairn has so far drilled six successful wells in Senegal and the 2017 drilling program plans for two new, firm wells. The new wells, SNE-5 and SNE- 6, are meant to optimize the SNE field development plan before submission to the Government of Senegal for approval.

The joint venture, where Cairn has 40% working interest, is finalizing the selection of further optional exploration and appraisal wells to follow the two firm wells and ensure efficient evaluation of the full license area.

Cairn operates the Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore, and Rufisque Offshore blocks. In December 2016, ConocoPhillips agreed to sell its 35% interest to Woodside Petroleum.