Outlook on Offshore Senegal Field Development


Future hydrocarbon production offshore Senegal looks promising. Woodside Energy recently submitted first-phase development plans to the government for the Sangomar field (formerly SNE field) with expected initial oil production in 2023.


BP’s Tortue field, which borders Senegal and Mauritania, is expected to achieve initial gas production in 2022. While oil and gas production in Senegal is not expected to exceed the likes of Angola or Nigeria anytime soon, production from the Sangomar and Tortue fields will certainly put the spotlight on Senegal, following in the footsteps of Ghana’s offshore development, which now has three floating production units in operation.

Woodside’s Sangomar field, located 62 miles (100 km) south of Dakar in deep water, has an estimated 5 billion barrels of oil in place. In December 2018, Woodside was appointed operator of the development and commenced front-end engineering and design activities. The Sangomar FPSO will be the first offshore production unit installed offshore Senegal. Initially the partners had plans to lease the FPSO from MODEC, but now anticipate purchasing the unit outright, presumably due to more favorable financing. The unit will likely be built in China and have processing capacity of 100,000 b/d of oil. Woodside is operator (35%) of Sangomar with partners Cairn Energy Senegal (40%), FAR limited (15%) and Petrosen (10%).

As background on the Buzios award, Exmar had been declared the low bidder for the fifth FPSO to be deployed in the field, with a rate of $635,000/day as compared to $815,000/day from Modec. Due to delays in finalizing financing, Petrobras began negotiations with Modec in early 2019. Finally, in June 2019, a 21-year lease was finally signed for the spread-moored unit. The yard has not yet been announced, but most likely Cosco Dalian or DSIC, which are currently converting units for Modec destined for Brazil.

Also notable in the specifications of this vessel is the water injection capacity, which is listed at 240,000 b/d. Considering that the vessel is specified to be capable of processing 150,000 b/d of crude oil and 212 mmscf/d of gas, this represents a water capacity of 1.6 times production storage capacity which is extremely high. This demonstrates the immense amount of water injection needed to maintain reservoir pressure in the presalt fields where production routinely exceeds 30,000 b/d per producing well.


Sangomar FEED has been underway throughout 2019 and the proposed first-phase development schedule submitted is realistic. We anticipate MODEC delivering the unit on schedule. Future Sangomar development phases may include options for potential gas export to shore and for subsea tiebacks from other reservoirs and fields.

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Future hydrocarbon production and FPSO installation offshore Senegal looks promising, as recently featured in Offshore Magazine.