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Senegal Joins Oil-Producing Nations With Launch of First Offshore Project

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Australian company Woodside Energy has announced the start of production in Senegal’s first offshore project, making the West African country one of the world’s oil-producing nations.

The project, located 100 kilometers south of the capital Dakar, is expected to produce between 100,000 and 125,000 barrels per day from the offshore Sangomar field. Woodside has an 82% stake in the project, with the remainder held by Senegal’s state-owned energy company Petrosen.

The discovery of oil and gas fields in 2014 raised great hopes for the economy of Senegal, one of the least developed countries in the world. Petrosen estimates the sector could generate more than $1 billion per year over the next three decades.

The start of production marks a new era for Senegal’s industry and economy, said Petrosen managing director Thierno Ly. “We have never been so well positioned for opportunities for growth, innovation and success in the economic and social development of our nation,” he said.

The first development phase of the oil field is expected to cost between $4.9 and $5.2 billion, with new exploratory drilling planned. Woodside said the floating facility has a storage capacity of 1.3 million barrels, and at a depth of 780 meters, it contains both oil and gas.

Senegal also has a liquefied natural gas project at its border with Mauritania, which could begin production in the third quarter. The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project aims to produce around 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per year.