Senegal Becomes Latest Oil-Producing Country in Africa, Set to Rival Nigeria, Others

Senegal Becomes Latest Oil-Producing Country in Africa, Set to Rival Nigeria, Others

  • Senegal has joined the list of oil-producing countries in Africa with the discovery of new oil wells
  • The country reportedly archived its first oil and disclosed that it aims to produce 100,000 barrels daily
  • The country also disclosed plans to begin the renegotiation of oil contracts with international oil firms’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment and the economy for over a decade.

Senegal has become the latest oil-producing country in Africa, officially joining the list of global oil producers.

The country began producing oil for the first time, with the Sangomer deep-water project aiming to produce 100,000 barrels daily.

Senegal discovers oil. OPEC data
Senegal emerges as the latest African country to produce oil Credit: Bloomberg/Contributor
Source: Getty Images

Senegal to produce 100,000bpd

The Australian energy company Woodside and Senegal disclosed in a statement that it is a historic day for the country and highlighted the importance of the achievement.

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The country’s president, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, assured Senegalese that the oil resources would be well-managed, saying that the government had set up an inter-generation fund to benefit future generations.

According to reports, Thierno Ly, the general manager of the country’s oil company, Petrosen, said the country is well-positioned for opportunities for growth, innovation, and success in its economic and social development.

Senegal to negotiate oil contracts

Energy experts say Senegal will see billions of dollars generated via crude oil sales to boost the country’s economy.

Senegal is moving to renegotiate oil and gas contracts to align with economic realities. The country’s Prime Minister, Ousmane Sanko, said the government had promised to renegotiate the contracts of international oil companies (IOCs).

Sanko said that contracts signed by previous governments did not favour the country.

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Nigeria’s oil production declines

This development is significant, as data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows that Nigeria’s crude oil production declined to 1.25 million barrels daily in May 2024. 

The information is contained in OPEC’s monthly oil market report released on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, and is based on direct communication with Nigerian authorities.

Nigeria is still Africa’s largest oil producer

OPEC’s data comes from communication with member countries and secondary sources such as energy intelligence platforms.

The 1.25 million barrels in May represents a 2.34% drop from the 1.28 million barrels recorded in April this year.

Reports say that despite the dip in oil production, Nigeria remains Africa’s largest oil producer for the month under review, with Libya coming second with 901,000 barrels and Algeria third with 264,000 barrels of crude.

Secondary sources reported a different figure, showing that Nigeria’s crude oil production rose by five percent to 1.41 million barrels daily, up from the 1.35 million barrels per day produced in April.

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Top oil-producing countries in Africa

The two figures, however, fall short of OPEC’s 2024 oil production quota for Nigeria, which is about 1.5 million barrels daily.

The global oil cartel said crude oil production from Gabon and Equatorial Guinea increased, with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, and Congo experiencing a decline in production.

OPEC reported that crude oil production averaged 26.63 million barrels per day in May 2024, an increase of 29,000 barrels per day.

Top oil well owners in Nigeria Since 2020 previously reported that the ownership of wells in Nigeria is very opaque, with reports saying some unknown entities and highly placed individuals have cornered using proxies.

About 75 known oil well operators exist in Nigeria as of December 2020.

The oil well owners in Nigeria include Shell, Mobil, Agip, Elf, and others who are in the process of divesting from the country.

Proofread by Kola Muhammed, journalist and copyeditor at


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Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.