Woodside Energy has achieved first oil at its Sangomar field in Senegal, an offshore project with an estimated cost of up to $US 5.2 billion or $A7.9 billion.

The Sangomar Field Development Phase 1, Senegal’s first offshore oil project, is estimated to cost between $US4.9 billion to $US5.2 billion.

The deepwater project includes subsea infrastructure and a floating production storage and offloading facility with a vessel capacity of 1.3 million barrels, or production of 100,000 barrels a day.

Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill said the oil quality was on par with Oman and the crude was well suited to Asian and European refineries.

“We already sold our first two cargos, those of which expected to go to Europe,” she said during a Woodside investor call.

“The Sangomar development has already delivered benefits to Senegal.

“Overall, [the project] employed 4,000 Senegalese people and we spent $US177 million with local suppliers.”

In February, Perth-headquartered Woodside mobilised the facility to its Sangomar field, around 100 kilometres offshore from Dakar.

The Sangomar project is being delivered by the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore joint venture, comprising Woodside as operator with an 82 per cent stake and and Societé des Petroles du Sénégal (PETROSEN) with 18 per cent interest.

Phase 1 of the project includes developing 23 wells with 21 already drilled and completed.

Ms O’Neill said achieving first oil on the Senegal project was a key milestone.

“The Sangomar project is expected to generate shareholder value within the terms of the production sharing contract,” she said.

“Delivering Senegal’s first offshore oil project safely, through a period of unprecedented global challenge, demonstrates Woodside’s world-class project execution capability.

“We are proud of the relationships we have formed with PETROSEN, the government of Senegal and our key international and local contractors to develop this nationally significant resource.”

The joint venture has approved a 24th production well for the project, Ms O’Neill said.

Woodside said the drilling campaign at Sangomar was ongoing and commissioning activities were expected to continue to for production through 2024.

PETROSEN E&P general manager Thierno Ly said first oil from the Sangomar field marked a new era for Senegal’s industry.

“This achievement is the result of the unwavering commitment of our teams, who have worked diligently to overcome challenges and meet our strategic objectives in a complex and demanding environment,” he said.

“We have never been so well positioned for opportunities for growth, innovation, and success in the economic and social development of our nation.”

Woodside previously targeted first oil at Sangomar by 2023 but disclosed a six-month delay and cost increase of about 13 per cent mid-last year.