The intrepid Australian offshore explorer FAR has spudded a deep-water oil exploration well offshore The Gambia in West Africa within close proximity of the large Sangomar oilfield.

FAR said the drillship Stena IceMax arrived on site on 12 November and has spudded the Bambo-1 well in 930 meters of water depth in Block A2.

FAR and Malaysian national oil company Petronas are 50:50 partners in the venture.

The well is planned to be drilled to a depth of 3400 metres over about 30 days.

It is designed to drill into a series of vertically stacked targets with a combined estimated recoverable, prospective resource of 1.1 billion barrels.

FAR estimates the chances of geological success for the various horizons range from 7% to 36%.

FAR’s managing director Cath Norman said: “We are very excited to be drilling offshore The Gambia again and I thank our co-venturer Petronas and the government of The Gambia for their support during a challenging period of uncertainty and delays.

"We’re looking forward to working safely and efficiently with our trusted partners at Exceed and Stena. The well will be run as a tight well, and we look forward to announcing drilling results at the appropriate time.”