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Jan 9 (Reuters) - Senegal has authorised the West African country's first oil development, the $4.2 billion Sangomar offshore oil project, operator Woodside Petroleum said on Thursday.
The approval from the Government of Senegal paves the way for investment decisions for the Sangomar project to proceed. Partners in the project are eager to push ahead even as they await the outcome of an arbitration over a dispute.
Australian oil minnow Far Ltd, a minority partner in the project, has been mired in a legal tussle over the acquisiton by Woodside Petroleum of a 35% stake in the Sangomar oil field from ConocoPhillips for $350 million in 2016.
Far contends it was denied its right to pre-empt the sale of Conoco's stake in the joint venture. Resolution of the dispute, which is expected early this year, should help clear the way for the minority partners to line up project finance.
The project, which is expected to have a production capacity of 100,000 bbl/day, is run as a joint venture between Woodside Energy, Cairn Energy PLC, Far Ltd and Senegal state-owned Petrosen.
The Government of Senegal also approved a proposed plan for the exploitation of oil at three offshore joint venture projects - Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore, Woodside said on Thursday. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)