Woodside Pre-empts Another Bid at Senegal Blocks
Woodside Petroleum has used its pre-emptive right to make a bid for fellow Australian player Far's stake in the production-sharing agreement (PSA) for the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep (RSSD) blocks offshore Senegal, it said on December 3, blocking an offer from India's ONGC.
ONGC launched its bid to buy Far's 13.7% interest in the Sangomar exploitation zone containing the Sangomar field and its 15% position in the surrounding RSSD contract zone in mid-November. But Woodside has matched the offer, agreeing to pay Far $45mn and reimburse its share of working capital from January 1, as well as make contingent payments up to a $55mn cap.
Woodside already has a 35% interest in the PSA for RSSD and is due to receive a further 40% from Cairn as well, having used its pre-emptive right after Russia's Lukoil made a bid. Senegal's state-owned Petrosen is also a project partner. The deal with Far is conditional on government and Far shareholder approvals and other usual conditions being met.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the deal made the RSSD blocks an even more "compelling" investment case.
"Sangomar is an attractive, de-risked asset in execute phase, offering near-term production. The acquisition is value accretive for Woodside shareholders and results in a streamlined joint venture which will assist in our targeted sell-down in 2021," he said. "We plan to commence development drilling next year as we progress the project to targeted first oil in 2023."
The group took a final investment decision on the development in January. Production is due to start in 2023 and reach 100,000 barrels/day. While a mostly oil-focused project, the partners also want to transport its gas to shore.