Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sees opportunities for Russia to invest in emerging oil developments in Senegal. Pool photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo
April 17 (UPI) -- Russia has an opportunity to foster a better trade relationship with Senegal, an emerging West African oil producer, the Russian foreign minister said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosted his Senegalese counterpart, Mankeur Ndiaye, at his Moscow office to discuss opportunities in the energy sector.
"Our trade and economic cooperation has been on the rise, our companies have been looking at a number of promising projects in Senegal, including those in the oil and gas industry, ship-building and fishing sectors," the Russia foreign minister was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying.
Russian interest in Senegal follows a March decision by the British subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. to outline areas of mutual interest offshore Gambia and Senegal with Australian energy company FAR Ltd.
FAR Ltd. has a stake in the SNE and FAN prospects off the coast of Senegal. When discovered in 2014, SNE in particular was considered one of the larger discoveries ever made. By the company's estimates, more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil may be in basins off the coast of Senegal.
According to Tass, the Senegalese foreign minister said Russia was invited to join in the growing investment interest in offshore basins.
"We would like Gazprom's representatives to enter our market and seal the appropriate agreements for developing these deposits," Ndiaye said.
By the estimates of the International Monetary Fund, the Senegalese economy is expected to grow more than 6 percent in 2017, the second year in a row for that growth rate.