Australian firm Woodside Petroleum has signed an agreement to acquire ConocoPhillips’ deepwater stakes in Senegal for $430m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Woodside will acquire 100% stake in ConocoPhillips Senegal, which owns 35% interest in a production sharing contract with the Government of Senegal.

The contract covers three offshore exploration blocks including Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore.

Woodside will also have an option to operate the future development of any resource.

The transaction, which is subject to approval of the Government of Senegal and co-venturer preemption rights, is scheduled to be completed in by year-end 2016.

The sale is  part of ConocoPhillips’ plan of phased exit from deepwater exploration in West Africa.

The production sharing contract covers the SNE and FAN deep water oil discoveries, which recently completed appraisal work, proving high-quality resources.

According to Woodside estimates, the SNE discovery holds 560MMbbl of recoverable oil, making it one of the largest global deep water oil discoveries since 2014.

Woodside said that the acquisition is a part of its effort to provide a significant position in highly prospective emerging oil province.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said: “We are taking advantage of our balance sheet to acquire a world-class asset that fits well with our capabilities, offers significant future upside in exploration and line-of-sight to near term oil production.

“It builds on our agreement to acquire a 65% interest in the AGC Profond exploration block located to the south in the Senegal-Guinea Bissau joint development zone and extends our regional focus in West Africa.”

Currently, Cairn operates the three blocks offshore Senegal with 40% stake while other partners include ConocoPhillips with 35% interest, FAR Limited 15% and Senegal national oil company Petrosen 10%.

Woodside plans to work with the Senegal government and its joint venture participants to advance the commercial development of SNE and potential future discoveries.

Image: Woodside intends to expand its offshore operations in West Africa. Photo: courtesy of suwatpo/