Australian company Woodside has signed an agreement to acquire ConocoPhillips' interests in Senegal for $350m to help gain a stake in three exploration blocks off the country.

The blocks are Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore. 

Under the agreement, Woodside will acquire 100% of the shares in ConocoPhillips Senegal, which owns a 35% working interest in a production sharing contract (PSC) with the Government of Senegal covering the three blocks.

As part of the acquisition, Woodside also has an option to operate the future development of any resource.

"It extends our regional focus in West Africa."

The PSC includes the global deep water oil discovery SNE, which is expected to contain 560 million barrells of recoverable oil, and FAN discovery.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said: “We are taking advantage of our balance sheet to acquire a world-class asset that fits well with our capabilities, offers significant future upside in exploration and line-of-sight to near-term oil production.

“It builds on our agreement to acquire a 65% interest in the AGC Profond exploration block located to the south in the Senegal-Guinea Bissau joint development zone and extends our regional focus in West Africa.”

Woodside will work with the Government of Senegal and joint venture participants Cairn Energy, FAR, and Petrosen to advance the commercial development of SNE and any future discoveries.

Coleman further added: “Woodside will bring to the joint venture expertise in deepwater drilling, development and operation of subsea infrastructure and floating production storage and offloading vessels.”

The agreement is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions, including Government of Senegal approval and is expected to conclude by the year-end.