Energy Capital & Power

Oil Exploration Offshore Senegal: A Step Towards Economic Prosperity

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Senegal’s national roadmap for electrification, the Emerging Senegal Plan (Plan Sénégal Emergent), has been continuously interpreted as a strategy to shift from relying on heavy fuels to using natural gas and renewable energy – with the objective to reduce importation and not entirely discard fuel from the energy mix.

The Sangomar Field Development Project will mark the beginning of a new era as Senegal’s first offshore oil development. Drilling operations offshore Senegal will lead to a much-needed economic boost. What was formerly known as the SNE field and now as the Sangomar field is located 100km south of Dakar. The development of the project started in early 2020 and first oil production is aimed at 2023.


Petrosen, Senegal’s national oil company, has supported the Senegalese Ministry of Energy in attracting petroleum companies, initially small but recently larger, thanks to continuous promotion efforts over the past decades. The series of discoveries off the coast of Senegal since 2014 further piqued the interest of corporations such as Woodside, Capricorn Senegal Limited (a subsidiary of Cairn Energy PLC) and FAR Limited.

The new Petroleum Code, which was approved last year, updated Senegal’s oil and gas legal framework. The spirit of the new constitution, which states that the country’s natural resources belong to its people, was reflected in this code. As a result, the code’s profit-sharing mechanisms provide Petrosen with more favorable terms, including a minimum of 10% stake in projects in the discovery phase and up to 30% interest in projects in the development and exploitation stages.

As such, Petrosen holds an 18% participating interest in the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore, and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture for the Sangomar exploitation area and a 10% participating interest in the remaining RSSD evaluation area.

Woodside Energy

Australian petroleum exploration and production company Woodside started the drill campaign for the first phase of the Sangomar project in July 2021 with the arrival of the Ocean BlackRhino drill ship.

A floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, named Leopold Sédar Senghor, with a daily production capacity of 100,000 barrels, 23 subsea wells, and supporting subsea infrastructure will be included in the first phase of the Sangomar Field Development.

It is noteworthy that Woodside’s participating interest in the RSSD joint venture increased to

82% for the Sangomar exploitation area following the fulfilment of the acquisition of the entirety of Far Limited’s participating interest on July 7, 2021.


MODEC was awarded the Woodside Sangomar FPSO’s Front End Engineering Design (FEED) contract in February 2019 and the FPSO purchase contract following the Sangomar Field Development’s Final Investment Decision (FID) in January 2020.

The FPSO vessel will be permanently moored at a water depth of about 780m by an External Turret mooring system supplied by SOFEC, Inc., a MODEC group firm, and will be scheduled for delivery in early 2023.

The FPSO will have a minimum storage capacity of 1,300,000 barrels of crude oil and will be capable of processing 100,000 barrels of crude oil, 3.6 million m3 of gas, and 145,000 barrels of water injection per day.


Nexans won the contract to design and produce 46 kilometers of umbilicals for the Sangomar field offshore Senegal. The umbilicals will offer crucial hydraulic control, and instrumentation services for a stand-alone FPSO complex and accompanying subsea infrastructure, and will be manufactured by Nexans’ specialized factory in Halden, Norway.

Nexans will supply 13,471 meters of dynamic umbilicals to be deployed from north to south. 9.503 meters of main static umbilicals, 8,719 meters of production infield umbilicals, and 14,650m of injection infield umbilicals will be supplied throughout the four phases of development.

For each phase of the project, Nexans’ Halden facility will provide both static and dynamic umbilicals, with deliveries beginning in 2022.

The oil industry in Senegal is on the verge of prosperity and the economic boost that will follow first oil production in 2023 will contribute to the country’s economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and assist it in its ambition for development.

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Jasser Hammami

Jasser Hammami