A series of major discoveries made between 2014 and 2017 confirmed the presence of sizeable offshore oil and gas deposits within western Africa’s Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea-Conakry (MSGBC) geological basin. Consequently, commercial interest in the region has accelerated, spurring collaboration and partnership between regional Governments as well as their agencies, International Oil Companies (IOCs) and exploration and production companies. Such cross-cutting developments have served to re-engineer the project scope as one of the establishment of a new international hydrocarbon, ideally located in the region.
This has also served to position the MSGBC as an investor haven and strategically important region, with renewed commercial vision. Prior to 2014, whilst there was evidence of a working petroleum system, the limited data of scalable hydrocarbon quantities for production, meant that the MSGBC sector still required further exploration.
Today, opening the north-western quarter of Africa to scalable programs, further translates as the region being re-defined as a concentrated hotspot for additional exploration and development in 2022.
The Grand Tortue Ahmeyim Gas Field
Located over an extensive 33,000km2, the Grand (or Greater) Tortue Ahmeyim Gas Field is a mega-project with capacity to progressively transform the international and domestic energy markets of Senegal and Mauritania. The $4.8 billion gas field development – a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) export project – is set to produce as much as 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) ) of recoverable natural gas reserves per day and 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum in its first phase. . With reserves of over 1 billion barrels of oil and 40 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, the project is a joint venture between IOCs, BP and Kosmos Energy, in partnership with and authorized by the Governments of Mauritania and Senegal.
Previously expected to produce first gas in 2022, the commissioning of the first phase of the GTA project has been extended to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, shifting Senegal’s economic growth target down to 0.7%. However, two separate, additional LNG projects, each with a capacity of 10 million tons per annum, are currently being planned or under construction in the watersstraddling offshore Mauritania and Senegal.
An estimated 10 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG is expected once all three phases of the mega-project begins operations.
Operated by BP Mauritania as authorized by the Government of Mauritania, the Tortue Phase 2 is located in ultra-deepwater offshore Mauritania. The conventional gas development has water depths of approximately 9,023 feet and is currently in the feed stage. The project is expected to transform the west-African country into a major gas producer from 2022, with socio-economic benefits as part of the process. Envisaged to begin commercial operations by 2026, costing figures have been presented to the tune of a total of $500 million, pending final investment decision (FID), by mid-2022.
The field is owned by Mauritania’s National Oil and Mining company, the Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMPHPM), in collaboration with, IOCs, Kosmos Energy and BP. Located in Block C8, with a water-depth of approximately 9,023 feet, the field is xpected to recover an estimated 288.22 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), 19.07 million barrels of crude oil as well as condensate and 279.71 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas and 1,344.18 bcf of liquid natural gas reserves. This gas field development is set to position Mauritania as a potential major international gas producer and exporter.
The Yakaar- Teranga offshore gas development in Senegal expects FID by in 2023 from BP and sector partners. First production is expected by 2024 and estimated to comprise over 20 tcf of natural gas. The development will grow local gas production and meet the country’s burgeoning electricity needs.
Together with official partners, Kosmos Energy and Senegal’s National Oil Company, Petrosen, BP operates the Cayar Offshore Profond Block with a 60% stake, wherein the Yakaar-Teranga development is located. The second phase of the joint venture project is expected to transform the region into a regional economic hub for the MSGBC basin, following the inclusion of other facilities, such as petrochemical production.
Identified as the largest conventional oil discovery in the world in 2014, the Sangomar field, located 90km off Senegal’s southern coastline, was initially scheduled to begin production in 2021, with first oil targets now extended to the second or third quarter of 2023. The $4.5 billion project, which is currently at figures of 40% completion, will be Senegal’s pioneer oil development and is expected to produce approximately 100,000 bpd.
Located in the RSSD Blocks, covering an area of 7,490km2, and situated in water depths of up to 1,100m, the Sangomar oil field has recoverable resources, totaling 500 million barrels, with the FID having taken place in January 2020. Targets of 230 million bpd are listed in the first phase of its development schedule and will begin in 2023.
Following from an initial exploration licensing period, having been set to conclude on 18 September 2021, independent oil and gas exploration as well as production company, PetroNor, received an approved extension from the Government of The Gambia for its offshore exploration license for 18 October 2022. The one-year extension, for the A4 offshore license will allow the company to process data and advance ongoing discussions with potential partners.
PetroNor currently holds a 90% interest in the license and the Government of The Gambia holds the remaining 10%.
Meanwhile, in Guinea-Bissau, PetroNor announced that drilling works for the offshore Blocks 2, 4A and 5A, under the Sinapa and Esperança Licenses respectively, are expected to commence works between the timeframes of late 2021 1 and early 2022.
The three blocks cover approximately 6,000km2 within moderate water-depths and include two discoveries of both light crude and oil, as well as ten identified prospects in the area, suggesting an existing working petroleum system. These prospects include the Sinapa West prospect, located in water depths of 42m, with reserves of approximately 50 million barrels of oil, and the Atum prospect, located in deeper waters, with reserves of an estimated 100 million barrels of oil.
MSGBC Oil, Gas & POWER 2022
Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit msgbcoilgasandpower.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.