QatarEnergy Farms Into Shell Prospect Offshore Mauritania
After successfully identifying prospects offshore Namibia with Shell and TotalEnergies, QatarEnergy is now expanding its African footprint into Mauritania.
QatarEnergy will acquire a 40% working interest from Shell in the production-sharing agreement (PSA) pertaining to Mauritania’s offshore C-10 block. Shell, which signed the PSA in July 2018 for a 90% share, retains a 50% operating interest while state oil company Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures, (SMH) keeps its original 10%.
In announcing the farm-in on 2 April in Doha, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of QatarEnergy, called the deal an opportunity that “builds on our exploration footprint in Africa.”
Besides Mauritania, QatarEnergy also partners with Shell in Namibia further south along Africa’s Atlantic coast. On 6 March, the partners announced, together with Namibia’s National Petroleum Corporation (NAMCOR), the discovery of light oil in the Jonker-1X deepwater exploration well.
The Jonker-1X well was drilled to a depth of 6168 m in water depth of 2210 m in the PEL-39 exploration area some 270 km offshore in Namibia’s Orange Basin. Acquired data are being evaluated while further appraisal of the discovery’s size and recoverable potential is planned, QatarEnergy said in a news release.
A consortium comprising QatarEnergy (45% working interest), Shell (45% operating interest), and NAMCOR (10% working interest) holds PEL-39.
The discovery is QatarEnergy’s third so far in Namibia. The company announced oil discoveries in February 2022 in the Graff-1 wellwith Shell and in the Venus-1X prospect with TotalEnergies, also in the Orange Basin. In all, Qatar Energy holds interests in three exploration licenses: PEL-39, PEL-56 (30%), and PEL-91 (28.33%).
BP Gears Up for FPSO Arrival in Mauritania
Meanwhile, BP and its US partner Kosmos Energy are awaiting the arrival of an FPSO vessel for the BP-operated Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) LNG project offshore Mauritania and Senegal. The FPSO set sail on 20 January from the Cosco shipyard in Qidong, China, where it has been under construction over the past 3½ years.
It is key to launching Phase 1 of BP’s GTA project which also includes subsea development of gas fields and near-shore floating LNG (FLNG) facilities, BP said in a news release announcing the sailaway. Kosmos said the partners expect the FPSO to arrive sometime in Q2.
The FPSO will process natural gas, removing condensate, water, and other impurities, before
exporting it by pipeline to the project’s FLNG facilities, 10 km offshore. With eight processing and production modules, the FPSO will process around 500 MMscf/D. Phase 1 targets production of 2.3 mtpa of LNG, according to BP.
FLNG facilities will liquefy the majority of the gas for export while some is retained to satisfy domestic demand in the two host countries. Condensate will be periodically transferred from the FPSO to shuttle tankers for export.
BP and the governments of Mauritania and Senegal have a longstanding and wide-ranging cooperation encompassing the GTA project and other potential energy developments. In October 2022, BP announced it had signed a PSA for the BirAllah gas resource in Mauritania.
More recently, the supermajor announced it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mauritania to explore the potential for large-scale production of green hydrogen. BP also continues to work with partners on the development of a major gas-to-power project in Senegal.