FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor; Source: Seatrium

‘Historic day’ for Woodside: First oil gushes out of Senegal’s inaugural offshore development

Australia’s energy giant Woodside has started production from Senegal’s first offshore oil deepwater development a few months after a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit destined to work at the project reached the country’s waters.

FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor; Source: Seatrium

After working on the Sangomar field development Phase 1 project, targeting around 230 million barrels of crude oil, since its sanctioning in January 2020, Woodside has brought the project on stream. This marks the start-up of Senegal’s first offshore oil development.

The project entails the stand-alone FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor, which arrived in the country in February 2024, with a nameplate capacity of 100,000 barrels/day, and subsea infrastructure designed to allow subsequent development phases. With a storage capacity of 1.3 million barrels, the FPSO is moored approximately 100 kilometers offshore Senegal.

Meg O’Neill, Woodside’s CEO, commented: “This is an historic day for Senegal and for Woodside. First oil from the Sangomar field is a key milestone and reflects delivery against our strategy. The Sangomar project is expected to generate shareholder value within the terms of the production sharing contract.

“Delivering Senegal’s first offshore oil project safely, through a period of unprecedented global challenge, demonstrates Woodside’s world-class project execution capability. We are proud of the relationships we have formed with PETROSEN, the government of Senegal and our key international and local contractors to develop this nationally significant resource.”

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Furthermore, the Sangomar field Phase 1 development covers 23 wells, including 11 production wells, ten water injection wells, and two gas injection wells. Woodside underlines that 21 out of the 23 planned wells have been drilled and completed, encompassing nine production wells.

The Sangomar project’s 24th well has been greenlighted and will be completed during the current campaign. This project is being progressed by the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture (JV), comprising Woodside (operator with 82% participating interest) and Societé des Petroles du Sénégal (PETROSEN) (18% participating interest).

Thierno Ly, General Manager of PETROSEN E&P, remarked: “First oil from the Sangomar field marks a new era not only for our country’s industry and economy, but most importantly for our people. This achievement is the result of the unwavering commitment of our teams, who have worked diligently to overcome challenges and meet our strategic objectives in a complex and demanding environment.”

With the drilling campaign at Sangomar ongoing, the operator expects to continue commissioning activities and production ramp-up through 2024, with the crude quality anticipated to be around 31 degrees API, said to be in demand in European and Asian markets.

According to Woodside, the Sangomar field development Phase 1 project cost estimate is still within the range of $4.9-$5.2 billion, which was changed from the previous cost estimate of $4.6 billion, following a cost and schedule review.

The Australian giant is developing multiple projects across the globe. Recently, the firm inked a $1 billion loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to fund its Scarborough gas project offshore Western Australia.

Woodside is also moving forward with the development of its Trion project for which a floating production unit (FPU) will be constructed by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea and transported to the Gulf of Mexico onboard a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel.