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Senegal poised to join Africa’s oil and gas elite as First Oil nears production

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Senegal is on the cusp of a historic moment, with first oil production from the Sangomar field expected in a matter of days.

This landmark achievement marks the country’s entry into the league of African oil producers, and national oil company Petrosen is confident it will be a game-changer.

“We’re nearly there,” declared Thierno Seydou Ly, Director General of Petrosen, at the Invest in African Energy Forum in Paris. “With the project 97% complete, first oil is imminent. This is a major milestone for Senegal, transforming our domestic industry.”

The Sangomar development boasts a projected output of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), but that’s just the beginning. Ly revealed plans to monetize the associated gas in the coming years, focusing on LPG production and gas-to-power initiatives.

This project is just one piece of the puzzle for Senegal’s burgeoning oil and gas sector. The first phase of the massive Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project, targeting 2.3 million tons of gas production annually, is also slated for a 2024 launch.

“GTA is on track for first gas in Q3 or Q4 this year,” Ly explained. “The project is designed for LNG export, with provisions for domestic gas supply to fuel our gas-to-power strategy. Our long-term ambition is to reach 10 million tons per annum by 2030-2032.”

Senegal’s oil and gas ambitions are drawing keen eyes from regional players like Equatorial Guinea, a success story in developing both domestic and regional gas networks.

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Through its Gas Mega Hub initiative, Equatorial Guinea has effectively monetized stranded gas resources. However, the country is grappling with declining output from mature fields, underlining the importance of continuous exploration and marginal field development.

Trident Energy, a major player with 11 producing assets in Equatorial Guinea, is addressing this challenge head-on with an upcoming drilling campaign in Block G. The campaign, set to begin in the coming weeks, will target two infill wells in the Ceiba Field and Okume Complex.

“We’re constantly innovating to create reserves,” said Jean Michel-Jacoulot, CEO of Trident Energy. “Last year, we secured a license extension for Block G until 2040, committing to a deepwater drilling campaign starting next month.”

Michel-Jacoulot believes Senegal can learn from this proactive approach, prioritizing exploration to counter potential production declines in the future.

Beyond national development, regional collaboration presents exciting possibilities. Senegal’s success has the potential to lift neighboring Guinea-Conakry, whose oil and gas sector is still in its nascent stages.

“Guinea has always been welcoming to investors, with immense enthusiasm for petroleum exploration,” remarked Mohamed Cherif, Sales Director of Guinea’s NOC, Société Nationale des Pétroles.

“We’re open to energy collaboration, and Senegal could be a perfect partner. We have a compelling petroleum code, attractive fiscal terms, and a bid round for 27 blocks coming up in the following months.”

As Senegal prepares to pump its first oil, the future of the country’s energy sector – and the wider regional landscape – appears bright. With ambitious projects coming online, strategic partnerships forming, and a commitment to exploration, Senegal is poised to become a major force in Africa’s oil and gas scene.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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