June 21 (Reuters) - Australia's Woodside Petroleum said on Wednesday that Senegal's energy minister had issued an order confirming the company's "participation" in an oil project in the west African nation.
Woodside, Australia's biggest independent oil and gas producer, bought a 35-percent stake in the deepwater SNE project from ConocoPhillips last year and as part of the deal was due to become the operator later this year.
Woodside said earlier this month that minority stakeholder FAR Ltd had advised that it would not support arrangements for Woodside to take over as operator.
FAR contends that it should have had pre-emptive rights over the ConocoPhillips stake, which was sold for what was considered a cheap price of $350 million, and had said the Senegalese government was yet to approve the deal.
Woodside also said on Wednesday that FAR had "apparently initiated arbitration proceedings".
Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru