Business News

Senegal Begins Oil Production

Sangomar deep water project

By Adedapo Adesanya

Senegal has officially joined the list of oil-producing countries in West Africa after commencing oil production for the first time last week with the Sangomar deep-water project aiming to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

This means the country joins regional oil producers, including Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, after the recent discovery of offshore oil fields.

“The Sangomar Field Development Phase 1 is a deepwater project including a stand-alone floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility with a nameplate capacity of 100, 000 barrels/day, and subsea infrastructure that is designed to allow subsequent development phases.

“This is a historic day, a key milestone for Woodside and Senegal,” said Australian energy giant, Woodside while highlighting the significance of the achievement.

President Bassirou Faye assured the nation that profits from the sale of the country’s oil and gas would be well managed, stating, “We have set up an inter-generation fund for the benefit of your generation and those to come.”

Adding his input, Mr Thierno Ly, the general manager of the national oil company, Petrosen, echoed the President’s sentiments, saying, “We have never been so well positioned for opportunities for growth, innovation and success in the economic and social development of our nation.”

The move to begin oil production is expected to generate billions of dollars for Senegal and boost the country’s economy. However, the government’s decision to renegotiate oil and gas contracts has been met with some scepticism from investors.

Senegal Prime Minister, Mr Ousmane Sonko, a key figure in the President’s election campaign, justified the move, saying, “We are the ones who promised that we would renegotiate the contracts, and we are going to do it. We have started already.”

He added that contracts signed by previous administrations were “unfavourable” to the country.

As Senegal begins this new era of oil production, its government said it remains committed to ensuring the nation benefits from its natural resources.