Senegal's First Offshore Oilfield Set to Start Up in Mid-2024

The FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor at its sailaway (Seatrium)

Published Dec 31, 2023 11:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

Australian oil and gas company Woodside Energy is targeting first oil from the Sangomar offshore project in Senegal towards the middle of next year now that its FPSO, Léopold Sédar Senghor, has departed Singapore. The Sangomar field is located about 50 nautical miles south of Dakar, Senegal’s capital, and it will be the country’s first offshore oil development. 

The FPSO, a former VLCC converted by Japanese operator Modec, is sailing 12,000 nautical miles to the site.

Senegal is fast emerging as a major hydrocarbon-producing nation. Since 2014, exploratory efforts have turned up more than one billion barrels of oil and 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore. The country expects to earn $1.4 billion in revenues over the next two years, based on a benchmark price of $90 per barrel from the Sangomar offshore field and BP's Greater Tortue Ahmeyim gas project.

The FPSO, formerly the VLCC Astipal, has been undergoing conversion over the past three years. Built in 2001, Astipal was acquired by Modec in 2020 before sailing to China for the conversion. The hull and marine works, external turret and topsides module installation and conversion work were completed by COSCO Shipyard.  

The FPSO then sailed to Seatrium in Singapore. The (recently-merged) yard's scope of work included topsides integration, as well as support for the onshore commissioning.

The sailing of the FPSO is another step forward for the Sangomar project, which is now on course for first oil in mid-2024. The FPSO will be capable of processing 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, 130 million cubic feet of gas per day, 145,000 barrels of water injection per day, and will have a minimum storage capacity of 1.3 million barrels of crude oil.

“Sangomar is Senegal’s first offshore oil development and we remain committed to working with the government of Senegal and local communities to ensure that the benefits from our investments are felt broadly across the country,” said Meg O’Neill, Woodside CEO.  

Modec said the conversion of the FPSO was a demanding project in terms of both technical and execution complexity, with the challenges compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FPSO Léopold Sédar Senghor is Modec’s fifth FPSO to be delivered to West Africa. The company has some 30 years of operational experience in the region and currently operates two FPSOs in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.