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Woodside gets green light for $6 billion Senegal oil project

Woodside’s joint-venture partners in Senegal – ASX-listed Far Limited, Capricorn Senegal Limited and Senegal state-owned oil company Petrosen – have expressed eagerness to press ahead with the development. Financing for the project has faced delays due to an arbitration sought by FAR Limited, which owns a 15 per cent interest in the project. FAR challenged Woodside’s acquisition of a 35 per cent holding from ConocoPhillips in 2016.

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Last month, Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the company was committed to “progressing the development” of the Sangomar field.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the joint venture, the government, our contractors and other stakeholders to develop this opportunity, which will also be Senegal’s first oil project,” he said.

Woodside on Thursday said the government of Senegal had also approved a proposed plan for the exploitation of oil at three offshore joint-venture projects – Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore.

Woodside is also edging closer to a final investment decision on another major project, the Scarborough gas field development, after the company and its joint-venture partner BHP announced a deal to process gas at Woodside’s Pluto LNG facility in November.

Woodside and BHP, which has a 25 per cent stake in the Scarborough field off WA’s Pilbara coast, have inked a non-binding agreement that would see BHP make a decision on the project by mid-2020.

Woodside shares were trading slightly lower on Thursday, down at 1.49 per cent or 54¢, to end the day at $35.60

Investor anxiety over a deepening of the US-Iran conflict eased on Thursday. US President Donald Trump said he would impose economic sanctions on Iran but the US was “ready to embrace peace with all who seek it”.

“Both the US and Iranian governments overnight refrained from further escalating tensions,” said Joseph Capurso of the Commonwealth Bank. “But tensions between the two countries has not faded away completely.”

Oil prices rebounded again later on Thursday, however, after a two rockets fell in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, causing no casualties.

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