Partners submit development plan for first oil field discovered offshore Senegal

  • Project & Tenders

Partners in the SNE field offshore Senegal have submitted the development and exploitation plan to the government with approval  targeted later this year.

The Joint Venture comprises Cairn as current operator with a 40% Working Interest (WI) alongside partners Woodside 35% WI, FAR Ltd 15% WI and the Senegal National Oil Company, Petrosen 10% WI (Petrosen has the right to increase its equity to 18% on development).

Australia’s Woodside gained entry into the SNE project back in 2016 after buying a 35 percent interest from ConocoPhillips. In 2017, Woodside became Development Lead for the SNE Field Development-Phase 1 with plans to transition to operator of the RSSD blocks which contain the SNE field during 2018.

Cairn said on Thursday that Woodside has now exercised its option to become the operator of the SNE field development. Work is already well underway to facilitate transfer of operatorship which is now subject only to government consent.


First oil in 2022


The development and exploitation plan outlines the full multi-phase development of oil and gas. The field will be developed in a series of phases with plans for about 500 million barrels of oil (mmbbls) and gross production of 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) with first oil targeted in 2022. Following the establishment of oil production, commercial gas sales to Senegal are expected to start.

The tender responses for the FPSO facility and supporting subsea infrastructure have been received and are under evaluation and short-listing ahead of Front End Engineering Design (FEED) planned later this year. In parallel with the detailed engineering work, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study has been submitted to the National Technical Committee.

The submission of the plan coincides with the opening today of the MSGBC conference for the oil and gas industry in Dakar, Senegal.

FAR’s managing director, Cath Norman, said: “Submission of the development plan for SNE is a huge milestone for our company. Since the SNE discovery well four years ago, FAR has participated in three more oil discoveries offshore Senegal and successfully drilled 7 SNE appraisal wells at 100% success rate for the 11 wells. SNE was the world’s largest oil discovery for 2014 and, more importantly, the first offshore oil field discovered off the shores of Senegal.”

Norman added: “We look forward to watching this development progress towards first oil in 2022 and first gas in about 2024.”


FAR’s arbitration


It is worth mentioning that FAR objected the 2016 sale of ConocoPhillips’ 35 percent interest to Australia’s Woodside, claiming the completion of the transaction between ConocoPhillips and Woodside was subject to the rights of partners to pre-empt and Senegal Government approval.

Therefore, FAR in June 2017 made a request to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris to start arbitration proceedings to resolve the current Joint Operating Agreement dispute regarding FAR’s right to pre-empt the sale of ConocoPhillips’ interest in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep Joint Venture offshore Senegal.

FAR said at the time that the arbitration process and cost structure was expected to take less than a year to complete with the cost to FAR expected to be about $1 million.

Following the appointment of the president of the tribunal in April 2018, the parties have been settling the terms of reference and related procedural documents.

At the end of July this year, FAR said: “Current indications are that a final hearing in the arbitration is unlikely to occur before the second half of 2019, pending which the parties will be formalizing their respective positions and going through various pre-hearing procedures.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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