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Senegal amends petroleum code as energy sector starts to take off

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Senegal amends petroleum code as energy sector starts to take off

London — Senegal is the latest African country to revise its hydrocarbon code as it seeks to grow its nascent petroleum oil and gas sector.

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The Senegalese National Assembly approved the new code Thursday, in which 34 of the 75 articles were "reformulated for a better understanding and a greater precision," according to a ministry statement.

This new code will help in "safeguarding national interests in the oil chain, while maintaining the attractiveness of the region. to foreign investment," according to the country's petroleum and energy minister Mansour Elimane Kane.

The code, which was drafted in 1998, needed to be revised as the country has now emerged as an exploration hot spot due to recent offshore discoveries.

Under the new code, state-owned Societe des Petroles du Senegal's (Petrosen) has a 10% stake in all contracts but this can rise to 40% in certain circumstances.

In November, Gabon revised its hydrocarbon code, including withdrawing corporate tax in a bid to attract foreign investment to its beleaguered oil sector.

KEY OFFSHORE PROJECTS

This comes a few months after the final investment decision for the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim floating LNG project was taken by BP and its partners.

The project is designed in its first phase to export 2.5 million mt/year of LNG from an offshore area straddling the border between Mauritania and Senegal in West Africa.

The project -- based on an estimated 15 Tcf (425 Bcm) of offshore gas -- is expected to produce its first gas in 2022, with first execution activities set to start in the first quarter of 2019.

The FID for the project's SNE oil field development is due later this year. In December, project participants Woodside Petroleum and Far Limited said the front-end engineering and design activity has started, with first oil targeted for 2022.

This would be Senegal's first oil project, will an estimated 230 million barrels of oil resources from the lower, less complex reservoirs and an initial phase in the upper reservoirs. A floating production and offloading vessel facility is expected to have capacity of around 100,000 b/d, according to Woodside.

--Eklavya Gupte, eklavya.gupte@spglobal.com

--Edited by James Leech, newsdesk@spglobal.com