BP Bets Big On Emerging African Gas Basin

Map courtesy of Kosmos Energy

BP has signed agreements with Kosmos Energy to acquire a 62% working interest, including operatorship, of Kosmos’ African exploration blocks in Mauritania and a 32.49% effective working interest in Kosmos’ Senegal exploration blocks – acreage which holds deepwater gas discoveries and exploration prospects across both countries.

The approximately 12,740 sq.mi. (33,000 km2) of acreage covered the agreements includes the Tortue field, estimated by Kosmos to contain more than 15 Tcf (4 x 1011 m3) of discovered gas resources. The total acreage, by Kosmos’ estimates, could contain roughly 50 Tcf (1.4 x 1012 m3) of gas resource potential and in excess of 1 billion barrels of liquids resource potential.

BP will invest nearly US$1 billion mostly in the form of a multi-year exploration and development carry to acquire a 62% interest and operatorship of offshore Blocks C-6, C-8, C-12, and C-13 in Mauritania and an effective 32.49% interest in the Saint-Louis Profond and Cayar Profond blocks in Senegal.

In order to reduce development time and drive capital efficiency, the partners plan to process and transport the gas from Tortue at a nearshore LNG facility. The proposed complex could be expanded in phases to accommodate future gas discoveries, BP said.

Under the terms of the agreements, BP and Kosmos have also agreed that Kosmos will remain the technical operator for the exploration phase of the project and drill three new exploration wells beginning in 2017.

In addition to the existing blocks, the companies have agreed to cooperate in areas of mutual interest in offshore Mauritania, Senegal, and The Gambia with Kosmos acting as the exploration operator and BP as the development operator.

Subject to government approvals, the agreements are expected to close by the first quarter of 2017.

Kosmos is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on frontier and emerging areas along the Atlantic Margin. Its assets include existing production and development projects offshore Ghana, large discoveries offshore Mauritania and Senegal, as well as exploration licenses with significant hydrocarbon potential offshore Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Suriname, Morocco, and Western Sahara.

Kosmos opened a significant new hydrocarbon province when it discovered a large accumulation of natural gas under the deep waters offshore Mauritania and Senegal, in Africa. In early 2016, Kosmos entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Pétroles du Sénégal (Petrosen) and Société Mauritanienne Des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM), the national oil companies of Senegal and Mauritania, respectively, which sets out the principles for an intergovernmental cooperation agreement for the development of the cross-border resource. The MOU enables Kosmos and the two governments to work together toward early development of the field, thereby maximizing value for all stakeholders.

Kosmos’ completed its appraisal of the Tortue West structure in early 2016.

 Greater Tortue Exploration and Appraisal

 Tortue-1 (Mauritania)

Drilled in mid-2015, the Tortue-1 exploration well (later renamed Ahmeyim) encountered approximately 373 ft. (117 m) of net hydrocarbon pay in high-quality reservoir sands in the Cenomanian and Albian intervals.

Guembeul-1 (Senegal)

Completed in 2016, the Guembeul-1 exploration well encountered 331 ft. (101 m) of net gas pay in two excellent quality reservoirs, including 184 ft. (56 m) in the Lower Cenomanian and 148 ft. (45 m) in the underlying Albian. Importantly, Guembeul-1 demonstrated reservoir continuity as well as static pressure communication with the Tortue-1 well in the Lower Cenomanian, suggesting a single, large gas accumulation. Guembeul-1 was drilled approximately 3 miles (5 km) to the south of Tortue-1.

Ahmeyim-2 (Mauritania)

The Ahmeyim-2 well was drilled to a total depth of 17,060 ft. (5200 m). As anticipated, in the Lower Cenomanian and Albian, Ahmeyim-2 penetrated the seismic-inferred gas-water contacts, defining the field limit and extending the productive field area from approximately 19 to 34 sq.mi. (50 to 90 km2) Furthermore, the well confirmed significant thickening of the gross reservoir sequences down-structure and importantly, within the Lower Cenomanian, static fluid pressure communication between the Tortue-1, Guembeul-1 and Ahmeyim-2 wells. The well encountered 256 ft. (78 m) of net gas pay in two excellent quality reservoirs, including 151 ft. (46 m) in the Lower Cenomanian and105 ft. (32 m) in the underlying Albian. These results demonstrate field-wide reservoir continuity and indicate Tortue West is a large, simple gas field.