MSGBC 2023: Sangomar Field Update, Local Content Challenges Explored

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Petroleum exploration and production company Woodside Energy has announced that the Sangomar Field Development is 90% complete and remains on track for first oil in mid-2024. The announcement comes during a local content optimization panel discussion at the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference and exhibition, that took place in Nouakchott, the Islamic Republic of Mautitania on 22 November.

The session, titled, ‘Developing in-Country Value: The Key to Local Content Optimization’, kicked off with a presentation by Woodside Energy Vice President, Paul Sullivan, who provided an update on the company’s Sangomar oil project, offshore Senegal. Sullivan announced that the arrival of the project’s Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel is being overseen by engineering, procurement, and construction company, Modec International, while the majority of subsea installation will be completed by Q2 2024.

“The subsea installation has been supported from Dakar and building on the logistical supply services is being provided by local businesses and established contractors,” Sullivan stated, adding, “The drilling operations are supported by several international drilling service contracts based in the Dakar area and they are helping build capacity and capability of the local industry.”

Meanwhile, a panel discussion dedicated to evaluating local content optimization in the MSGBC region featured the participation of regional and international experts, who explored the challenges in local content policymaking while increasing profitability and local participation. It was noted during the panel session the there is a high demand for technical and non-technical professionals, including engineers and economics experts.

MSGBC 2023: Sangomar Field Update, Local Content Challenges Explored 1

“We are getting ready to roll out our first Master’s program that will target not only government officials, but also target professionals and young and upcoming students,” stated Moustapha Kebe, Educational and Instructional Director for training institution, the Institut National du Pétrole et du Gaz, adding, “We also have capacity building, and these sessions cover the entire oil and gas value chain, going from upstream to downstream.”

Additionally, the panel explored government incentives and political frameworks that can be implemented to incentivize and support local content development and collaboration through education, business development support, and financing.

“Local content is extremely important, it’s a very economical and very win-win concept,” stated Cheikh Benhmeida, CEO and Owner of construction and engineering company, SEPCO, adding, “However, one of the shortfalls I see are the complexities of the procurement processes, which incoming companies have not really been able to address.”

The transfer of technology to enhance local capacity and competitiveness was highlighted as a requisite for how best to promote knowledge sharing within the MSGBC region. The speakers stressed that partnerships and collaboration between the government and private sector will be critical for the region’s energy sector.

“We look for opportunities in which we can source local communities for training,” stated Jean NG, Regional Director for West & Central Africa at Singaporean government agency, Enterprise Singapore, adding, “We really want to shift the focus and target the conversation towards the government and explore training from an educational level. Education will be in line with what the private sector is in need of.”

As the region prepares for first gas to come online in 2024, West Africa is poised to leverage its newly established extractives industry for enhanced local content development that involves crafting and implementing dedicated policies, technical training programs, and linkages that retain in-country value. As such, the panel concluded that empowering future generations will be key towards ensuring long-term investments and sustainable socioeconomic development.

“Optimizing local content should be achieved by implementing laws to maximize the economic benefits of the energy sector,” stated Mohamed Abdellahi Ould Yaha, Chairman & CEO of integrated logistics services company, Maurilog, adding, “The Mauritanian government is committed to strengthening its regulatory framework, exemplified by the development of the local content law. The government aims to promote high-quality training as well as the upgrading of local companies.”

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Energy Capital & Power

Energy Capital & Power is the African continent’s leading investment platform for the energy sector. Through a series of events, online content and investment reports, we unite the entire energy value chain – from oil and gas exploration to renewable power – and facilitate global and intra-African investment and collaboration.