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Thursday, 6 October 2016, 6 p.m., Edinburgh
Oil in Senegal - The On-going Exploration and Appraisal Story

Richard Heaton, Exploration Director, Cairn Energy

Sponsorship is provided by Scottish Oil Club (Students).

This event occurred on: Thursday, 06 October 2016, 6 p.m.


Funding for student participation from member universities provided by Scottish Oil Club.


In 2014, Cairn Energy PLC and its JV partners drilled the first two deep-water wells offshore Senegal and made two basin-opening oil discoveries. Since then a further four successful appraisal wells have been drilled, resource estimates confirmed and further operations planned, heading towards potential development. The talk will cover an overview of the progress made to date and hopes to capture some of the excitement and challenges of exploring in a new area.


Richard Heaton is Cairn’s Exploration Director and most recently has been involved in building an exploration portfolio in the Atlantic Margins, North Sea and the Mediterranean during which time Cairn made the 2014 breakthrough FAN and SNE discoveries offshore Senegal, which are currently under appraisal.

Richard began his career as a geologist in 1981 with the British National Oil Corporation (BNOC), then subsequently with Britoil and BP, working in various international and domestic exploration roles before joining Cairn Energy in 1994.

Following Cairn’s 1996 Sangu discovery in Bangladesh, he became General Manager there, overseeing the Sangu field development and wider exploration operations before handing over Operatorship to Shell in 1999.

He headed Cairn’s exploration effort in India from 2000-2006 during which time Cairn made the Lakshmi and Gauri discoveries in Gujarat, opened up the deep-water Krishna-Godavari Basin with a number of oil and gas finds and made the giant Mangala, Bhagyam, Aishwariya discoveries onshore in Rajasthan.

Following the IPO of Cairn India, he returned to the UK as Technical Director for Cairn’s Capricorn subsidiary, drilling a number of frontier exploration wells in Greenland in 2010-11.

Richard holds a BSc in Geological Sciences from Leeds University and an MSc in Engineering Geology from Durham University.

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