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Senegal: Birame Soulèye Diop inherits "the hot potato", the Ministry of Energy, Oil and Mines



Sénégal : Birame Soulèye Diop hérite de "la patate chaude", le ministère de l’Énergie, du pétrole et des Mines

Appointed Minister of Energy, Petroleum and Mines in President Bassirou Diomaye's first government, under the leadership of Ousmane Sonko, Birame Souleye Diop finds himself at the head of a sector with multiple stakes and high expectations. Previously Inspecteur des Impôts et des Domaines, he also held a deputy seat in the National Assembly and chaired the Groupe Parlementaire Yewwi Askan Wi. He is one of the 25 members of Ousmane Sonko's cabinet.

Birame Souleye Diop, renowned for his prudence and respect for the law within the PASTEF party, has been entrusted with a strategic ministry with considerable stakes: that of Energy, Oil and Mines. In line with Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko's suggestion that all ministers holding other posts should resign, he will have one month to comply.

In Senegal's current context, and faced with the legitimate expectations of the various players in the extractive sector, his task promises to be a delicate one. In his national address, President Bassirou Diomaye Diakhare Faye expressed his interest in "the exploitation of our natural resources", a concern that will be the focus of his government's attention. He announced that mining, oil and gas contracts would be posted on the EITI Senegal website, as well as the disclosure of beneficial ownership of extractive companies, in line with the EITI Standard. In addition, he mentioned the completion of an audit of the mining, oil and gas sector, as well as increased support for local content for the benefit of the national private sector.

In addition, President Diomaye's program for the hydrocarbons sector includes the renegotiation of contracts and agreements (mining, hydrocarbons, public procurement and infrastructure) as one of the "solutions for mobilizing financial resources to finance the economy". The speech, among other topics, addresses the hydrocarbon discoveries (oil and gas) in Senegal, whose imminent exploitation will impact the country's future.

In short, President Bassirou Diomaye Faye has committed himself to renegotiating mainly oil and gas contracts, a risky process that is causing concern, as it could lead to costly and damaging litigation for Senegal. It is essential to note that, contrary to assertions, the oil and gas contracts were concluded in accordance with the laws and regulations in force, and were defended by citizens concerned about their country's interests.


It should be pointed out that the oil contract adopted, based on the model of the 1998 oil code, is a CRPP (Contrat de recherche et partage de production). All current contracts, including those for the three discovery blocks Sangomar, Yakaar-Teranga and GTA (Great Tortue Ahmeyim), are governed by the 1998 oil code, despite the adoption of a new code in 2019.