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Woodside Wins Senegal Case

February 14, 2020

Arist impression of the Sangomar FPSO - Image by Woodside
Arist impression of the Sangomar FPSO - Image by Woodside

Australian oil and gas company Far has lost a case against its compatriot Woodside in which it challenged Woodside's acquisition of ConocoPhillips' stake in the SNE field off Senegal in 2016, claiming pre-emption rights. The field is now known as Sangomar.

Woodside in 2016 agreed to acquire all ConocoPhillips' assets offshore Senegal including the SNE oil discovery, for $430 million. 

However, Far, as Conoco's partner in the Senegal offshore blocks disputed the deal, claiming a valid pre-emptive rights notice had not been issued to the JV partners by Conoco, end eventually filed for arbitration.

Woodside and Far said Friday they had received a decision from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in the arbitration initiated by FAR Limited against Woodside Energy was heard in July 2019.

Woodside said: "The Tribunal found in favor of Woodside and declared that FAR Limited did not have a pre-emption right over Woodside's 2016 transaction to enter the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore, and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) joint venture. The Tribunal also rejected FAR Limited's other claims." 

Far said: "In respect of the principal issue heard, the tribunal has determined that the Senegal RSSD Joint Operating Agreement does not grant to the JOA Parties a preemption right over a transaction involving a sale of shares in a JOA Party. 

"Consequently, the Tribunal has determined that FAR did not have a pre-emption right over the 2016 sale of shares of RSSD 35% interest holder, Woodside Energy Senegal BV (formerly known as ConocoPhillips Senegal BV), to Woodside Energy Holdings (Senegal) Limited," Far said.

"In addition, the Tribunal has determined that it did not have authority to determine the consequences of a letter sent to FAR in July 2016 from ConocoPhillips Petroleum Holdings BV advising FAR of its preemption right over such sale of shares. FAR is analyzing this award, which is lengthy, and evaluating its position," Far said.

First oil in 2023

Woodside is the operator of the three blocks offshore Senegal (Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore, Rufisque Offshore) with a 35 percent stake. Its partners are Cairn with 40%, Far Ltd with 15%, and the Senegal National Oil Company, Petrosen with 10%.

A Final Investment Decision for the development of the Sangomar project was reached in January 2020.

The Sangomar Development concept is a stand-alone floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility with 23 subsea wells and supporting subsea infrastructure.

The FPSO, to be delivered by Japan's Modec, will be deployed at the Sangomar field located approximately 100 kilometers south of Dakar, Senegal.

Modec will deliver an FPSO capable of processing 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, 130 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, 145,000 barrels of water injection per day, and with a minimum storage capacity of 1,300,000 barrels of crude oil.

The Sangomar field, containing both oil and gas, will be Senegal’s first offshore oil development. First oil production is targeted in early 2023.

"The Tribunal has ordered the parties to provide their views on the next procedural steps arising from the decision within 45 days. Woodside is committed to working with the RSSD joint venture to progress the Sangomar Field Development, which achieved final investment decision in January 2020," Woodside said Friday.



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