Third-world country set for £24bn boost as it’s finally starts oil drilling after 10-years

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun16,2024

Senegal is set for a multibillion dollar windfall from oil sales, after production finally got under way on Tuesday.

After years of delay, the Australian company Woodside Energy announced the start of drilling at the Sangomar oil fields, located about 100 kilometres (60 miles) offshore.

Meg O’Neill, the company’s chief executive, called the occasion “an historic day” for Senegal and Woodside Energy.

The aim is to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day, which will bring in billions of dollars for the country.

The oil field was initially discovered in 2014, sparking hopes of an economic transformation in the country.

However, the entire project appeared to be in the balance earlier this year when a new government came to power under Ousmane Sonko.

The incoming prime minister pledged to review oil and gas contracts with foreign companies, which he described as unfavourable to Senegal.

Mr Sonko hinted his government might still attempt to renegotiate contracts at a rally in Dakar on Sunday, promising to stand up to the multinationals.

Woodside Energy currently holds an 82 percent stake in the venture, with the state-owned Petrosen holding the remainder.

Petrosen expects oil and gas sales to generate more than US$1billion over the next 30 years.

Thierno Ly, the managing director of the state firm, said the beginning of production marked the start of a new era for the country and its people.

Charles Thiémélé, Director of Africa at BNG, an oil trading company, told RFI: “The start of oil production in Senegal is very good news.

“It’s the culmination of a project that started many years ago, and it should help reduce the country’s energy bill, which has been causing a lot of budgetary problems.”

He added that more investors were now likely to be attracted to the oil sector in Senegal.

The country also has a liquified natural gas project at the border with Mauritania and extraction is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.

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

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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