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Participants at last week’s Africa Oil and Power conference, held in Cape Town, highlighted the recent offshore gas discovery in Senegal as a major development.
Last month, BP, along with its joint venture partner Kosmos Energy, announced a significant gas find at the Yakaar-1 well, situated about 95km northwest of Dakar, in waters about 2,550m deep. This follows the earlier successful Tortue discovery. According to BP, the two discoveries confirm its belief that offshore Senegal and Mauritania is a world-class hydrocarbon basin.
An oil and gas boom could have a positive economic knock-on effect, generating demand for products and services – including construction, accommodation, retail and banking – that support the hydrocarbons industry. One Senegal-based executive recently told How we made it in Africa that oil and gas activity is already creating excitement among the local business community.
Although depressed oil and natural gas prices are creating some uncertainty around the future of the sector, savvy investors should keep an eye on the industry and take advantage of first-mover opportunities.