As Senegal and Mauritania prepare for first gas to come online in 2024, the MSGBC region is poised to leverage its newly established extractive industries for enhanced local content development.
This involves crafting and implementing dedicated local content policies, facilitating technical training and skill building, and creating forward and backward linkages that generate and retain in-country value. Below are the top five ongoing local content initiatives established by key industry stakeholders in the region.
Kosmos Energy’s Mauritania Innovation Challenge
As Kosmos Energy collaborates with bp to develop the Grande Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, its involvement extends to fostering local content and innovation in Mauritania. Through its Kosmos Innovation Center–Incubation Hub, the company launched the Mauritania Innovation Challenge, exclusively designed to support entrepreneurs under 40. The initiative holds particular significance in Mauritania, where over 60% of the population is under the age of 25.
Notable beneficiaries from the program include iMauritanie, which works to enhance public administration communication; Sekam, experts in non-GMO vegetable production; Ayadi Amila, which crafts accessories from recycled materials; and FASEL, which spearheads local salt processing. These collective efforts serve to drive innovation, stimulate economic growth and underscore sustainability by providing steadfast support to emerging startups and small businesses in the country.
bp’s Partnership with Senegal’s INPG
bp is actively participating in key gas projects in Senegal, including Yakaar-Teranga and GTA. In collaboration with government, academic and industry stakeholders, bp has played a pivotal role in establishing and bolstering the National Oil and Gas Institute (INPG) in Senegal. The INPG is dedicated to enhancing local capabilities within Senegal’s expanding oil and gas industry and equipping local workers with technical skills. Initiated in 2018, the partnership between bp and INPG has been recently extended through 2025 and includes financial support for the institute’s construction, equipment and training sessions, and scholarships and technical training in oil and gas, including internship opportunities in Malaysia for selected students.
bp and PRCM’s Joint Research on the Senegalese Coastline
While bp’s offshore gas projects have raised some concerns among the Senegalese fishing community, the energy multinational is making efforts to preserve the local marine ecosystem. In collaboration with the Regional Partnership for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine Areas in West Africa (PRCM), bp launched a research program in January 2022 to enhance expertise in marine and coastal environments and generate valuable information and data. The Senegalese coastline is particularly rich in biodiversity and fisheries resources, with fishing employing nearly 15% of the Senegalese workforce. Within this initiative, PRCM has selected three Senegalese universities to undertake specific projects aimed at better understanding Senegal’s coastal environment.
Woodside’s Training Programs in Senegal
Australian energy company Woodside, the operator of Senegal’s Sangomar offshore oil field, has demonstrated a commitment to providing oil and gas training to nurture the future generation of industry professionals. Last March, Woodside welcomed 15 Senegalese trainees during the pre-commissioning phase of the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, Léopold Sédar Senghor, in Singapore, as part of a program conducted by lead contractor MODEC. Working alongside Woodside colleagues in Singapore, these trainees acquire practical skills and develop the necessary competencies for FPSO operations. The Sangomar Field Development, in collaboration with various contractors, has provided 40,000 training hours to Senegalese individuals, contributing significantly to local capacity building and job creation.
NCDMB’s Knowledge Sharing with Senegal
Nigeria’s National Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will collaborate with the Senegalese Commission for Oil and Natural Gas to support Senegal’s local content initiatives, particularly as it begins oil and gas production from 2024. Signed last February, the Memorandum of Understanding aims to ensure that Senegal effectively utilizes its hydrocarbon resources to benefit local companies and the national economy. The NCDMB, which has made significant gains in local content development in Nigeria, will share its expertise in helping Senegal to address challenges, promote cross-border cooperation and leverage its project developments for the benefit of African countries.
To delve deeper into the current local content initiatives in the region, a dedicated panel session on local content is organized for the upcoming MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 Conference and Exhibition. The event will take place in Nouakchott on November 21-22 under the esteemed patronage of Mohamed Ould Al Saleh, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.