A representative of Senegal’s national oil company will arrive in Baton Rouge today to promote the West African nation’s oil and gas potential, says Len Robinson, honorary consul general of Senegal in Louisiana. “The people who know a lot more about this than I do believe Senegal could be the next big oil-producing country in West Africa,” Robinson says. “They’ve already found gas inland and there’s some offshore oil production. If they find oil inland, … the whole industry is going to explode. We’re trying to let Louisiana companies know what could happen and let them decide if they want to be a part of it.”
Joseph Medou, Petrosen exploration and production director, is scheduled to meet Friday with Jim Welsh, Department of Natural Resources conservation commissioner, as well as with Mayor Kip Holden and representatives from Louisiana Economic Development and Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association. The meetings are to take place in Baton Rouge. Medou and Senegal’s director of hydrocarbons, Aminata Ndoye Toure, were in Houston over the weekend to attend the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ 2011 convention. Medou will also meet with various industry representatives in Lafayette Thursday.
“We hope this will produce some export opportunities for Louisiana companies at a time when our economy is still reeling from what happened in the Gulf last year,” Robinson says. “It could be a real shot in the arm.” Robinson, who has been working to strengthen business ties between the U.S. and Senegal for nearly 30 years, says a follow-up trip is planned for October. Senegal’s Minister of Energy Karim Wade, son of President Abdoulaye Wade, is being encouraged to attend, he says. —Steve Sanoski