Scottish Development International (SDI) is cooking up a trip to Senegal for a number of companies in the last week of April.
Within two weeks of launching the proposal, 10 companies have expressed interest in going, SDI’s senior international specialist Ian Ross told Energy Voice. “There’s an advantage to going as a group as we can secure high-level meetings that an individual company just cannot,” he continued. Interested companies should express interest by February 21.
Visits tend to consist of market entry coaching from the local chamber of commerce, accountants’, banks and lawyers, followed by meetings with operators and service companies. This provides some understanding of the future opportunities and allows visiting companies to talk through their offerings with potential local partners.
“Senegal is in the development phase, with around two years to go until production starts. The operators have all their drilling contractors in place and there are plans for how to produce, but there is local supply chain support required on the beach, which is currently lacking,” Ross said.
There is a legal requirement for local content, with Senegal having passed a law on this area in 2019, as part of its broader legislative overhaul of the sector. Under this, companies working in the energy industry are required to ensure that a good percentage of their local value add is delivered by Senegalese technicians and engineers.
One area where Scotland can support this requirement is in training. “Scotland has a reputation for excellence in oil and gas training,” Ross said, in line with the highest standards. Training has historically taken place in Scotland, but increasingly companies are willing to support education in-country.
Ensuring that both the Scottish and their local partner content of any offering is delivered at the highest quality and safety will optimise production. Training opportunities range from well control to further down the chain, for instance in welding, calibration, mechanical and electrical, and on to warehousing and hospitality.
SDI’s Andrew Monaghan carried out a scoping visit to Senegal in 2019, with support from the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) to get a bearing as to the country’s prospects and ensure that the timing for the trade mission was right.
“Given that it can take up to a year to establish an on-the-ground presence, now is the time to start forming partnerships and training locals,” Monaghan said. “What we see is an appetite from the little Senegalese supply chain present for O&G training and partnership.”
There may be further opportunities to come in Senegal, with the country’s state-owned Petrosen having launched a licence round at the end of January. A roadshow will be held in London on February 20 and in Houston on February 25.
Beyond Senegal, Ross said there were plans for SDI visits to Ghana, Angola and Mozambique this year, in addition to the Africa Oil Week event, in South Africa. SDI, Subsea UK and the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce are hosting an inward visit from Ghana is due to take place on March 22-27 with a focus on the subsea sector. The group from Ghana will visit the subsea supply chain in Aberdeen.