Australia's Woodside Energy has started marketing a new African crude oil from Senegal's first oil project, where the company aims to start producing by the end of this year, a senior executive said.
Located about 100 km (62 miles) offshore south of Dakar, production from the first phase of the Sangomar field development will be about 100,000 barrels per day, said Jeremy Soh, the company's vice president of global oil.
He did not say when the first cargo would be available. Trade sources said the target was by end-2023, though it was more likely to be in early 2024.
The new West African oil production comes just as Europe is seeking new supplies to replace sanctioned Russian oil and as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, extends output cuts into 2024.
Sangomar crude is a medium sour grade of oil with an API gravity of 32-33 degrees and about 1% sulphur content, Soh said.
It could appeal to refiners in Asia and Europe as the oil's quality is similar to Oman crude, typically processed in Asia, and Russia's Urals grade, which the European Union has banned following the Ukraine war, trade sources said.
Sangomar crude cargoes will be sold on a free-on-board (FOB) basis or delivered basis in a standard parcel size of 950,000 barrels, Soh told Reuters.
The project's terminal will be able to load Sangomar crude onto Suezmax tankers that typically carry 1 million barrels of oil each, and very large crude carriers (VLCCs) with a capacity of 2 million barrels each, he said. Woodside owns 82% of Sangomar while Senegal's state-owned Petrosen holds 18%.
(Reuters - Reporting by Florence Tan and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sonali Paul)