FAR responds to Woodside Senegal development update By Martin Kovacs, 8 Jun 2017

Woodside Petroleum has released an update regarding offshore Senegal development, stating that it has been advised by FAR Limited “that it will not support arrangements for Woodside to undertake development works as development lead of the SNE oil field, offshore Senegal, at this time”.

“FAR is claiming that the Senegalese government has not approved the transfer of interest in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep offshore blocks from ConocoPhillips to Woodside and that FAR was not provided with proper pre-emption rights,” Woodside stated.

Woodside stated that it “does not believe that FAR’s claims have any merit”, with it maintaining “that it has an interest in the production sharing agreement (PSA), has complied with the terms of the PSA and Senegalese law, and has at all times honoured its joint venture obligations”.

“These actions by FAR put at risk the timely development of the SNE oil field in a prospective emerging basin,” Woodside CEO Peter Coleman stated.

Responding to the update, FAR has stated that it “continues to support the approved joint venture work program and budget and development schedule as presented by the operator”.

“Woodside’s statement that FAR is putting at risk the timely development of the project is incorrect,” FAR stated. “Cairn is the operator of the joint venture and is responsible for delivering the joint venture work program and budget, including the project development schedule.

“Woodside has stated that it is transitioning to the role of operator of the joint venture. However, there is no joint venture agreement for this to occur. The joint venture has not received any notification that the government of Senegal has approved the transfer of interest to Woodside.

“FAR’s position in relation to its valuable pre-emptive rights over the sale of ConocoPhillips’ interest in the joint venture is well documented and remains unresolved.”

FAR stated that it “continues to be open to finding an amicable solution with ConocoPhillips”, with it continuing “to reserve its rights in relation to the dispute, including resolution through international arbitration as provided for in the joint operating agreement”.