Woodside has informed that Senegal’s Minister of Energy and the Development of Renewable Energy has issued a ministerial order “which provides further confirmation” of Woodside’s participation in the joint venture developing the giant SNE oil discovery offshore Senegal.
Woodside last year bought a stake from ConocoPhillips in the joint venture developing the SNE oil field offshore Senegal, a transaction that has been disputed by FAR Ltd, a partner in the project, claiming that valid pre-emptive rights notice had not been issued to the JV partners by ConocoPhillips.
On those grounds, FAR Ltd on Tuesday said it had made a request to the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris to start arbitration proceedings to resolve the current Joint Operating Agreement dispute regarding FAR’s right to pre-empt the sale of ConocoPhillips’ interest in the joint venture offshore Senegal.
Commenting on Wednesday, Woodside said: “Woodside does not believe that FAR’s claim has any merit. As FAR has apparently initiated arbitration proceedings, Woodside does not intend to make any further comment on the arbitration proceedings at this stage.”
Partners in the three exploration blocks containing the SNE discovery are Cairn Energy, as the operator with 40% interest, Petrosen, the Senegalese National Oil Company, with 10% interest, FAR, with 15% working interest, and Woodside – disputed by FAR – with 35%.
In the meantime, Woodside has shared plans to become the operator of the project, taking over from Cairn, before the Final Investment Decision is made. As expected, this has also been challenged by FAR.
SNE development at risk?
Earlier this month, Woodside accused FAR of putting the SNE development at risk due to its refusal to support arrangements for Woodside to undertake development works as a development lead of the SNE oil field. Woodside also said that FAR’s actions were putting at risk the timely development of the SNE oil field.
FAR, on the other hand, noted its support to the approved joint venture work program and budget and development schedule as presented by the operator and brought to attention its promotion of an accelerated development schedule to the joint venture.
Offshore Energy Today Staff