Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Production begins at Senegal’s first offshore oil project

By meerna Jun11,2024

MARK BANCHEREAU, Associated Press

53 minutes ago

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Production has started at Senegal’s first offshore oil project, Australian group Woodside Energy said Tuesday, as the country’s new government anticipates greater profits from natural resources.

“This is a historic day for Senegal and Woodside,” company chief executive Meg O’Neill said in a statement.

The oil-producing vessel is moored about 100 kilometers (60 miles) offshore in the Sangomar oil fields. The statement said the project is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

The discovery of oil and gas deposits off the coast of Senegal in 2014 raised hopes that the industry would be able to generate billions of dollars in revenue for the developing country and transform its economy. However, the new government that came to power earlier this year pledged to review oil and gas contracts with foreign companies, which it described as disadvantageous to Senegal.

“The use of our natural resources, which constitutionally belong to the people, will be the focus of my government’s special attention,” President Bassirou Diomaye Faye said in his first address to the nation in April. “I will continue to disclose beneficial ownership of mining companies (and) audit the mining, oil and gas sector.”

At a rally in Dakar on Sunday, Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to reviewing the agreements and promised that the country’s participation would be guaranteed.

“We will have to face multinational corporations,” he said.

Woodside Energy has 82% of shares in the project, the rest is held by the state energy company Petrosen. While Senegal’s fossil fuel production is not expected to be as large as that of larger producers such as Nigeria, Petrosen expects the sector to generate more than $1 billion annually over the next three decades.

“The first oil from the Sangomar field marks a new era not only for the industry and economy of our country, but above all for our citizens,” Petrosen CEO Thierno Ly said in a statement.

The country also has a liquefied natural gas project on its border with Mauritania, with production expected to begin by the end of this year.

The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project – involving British energy giant BP, US company Kosmos Energy, Mauritanian oil and gas company SHM and Petrosen – aims to produce around 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per year.

By meerna

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