Mauritania: Kosmos discovers a new offshore gas field

Mauritania is definitely doing quite well at the junior Kosmos Energy! After revealing the mega-tortuous Grand-Tortue deposit in 2015, the American company announced on Monday 28 October that it had again made a major natural gas discovery off the Mauritanian coast, drilling the Orca-1 well.

« Orca-1, which we believe is the largest deep-sea hydrocarbon discovery in the world so far this year, once again demonstrates the quality of Mauritania’s gas basin on a global scale, » Kosmos Executive Director Andrew Inglis said in the press release making the discovery official. Located about 100 km off the Mauritanian coast, the Orca-1 well was drilled about 2,500 metres below sea level, and its total depth is estimated to be about 5,300 metres. According to data published by the American firm, it contains a pocket of 13 trillion cubic feet of gas, adjacent to the Marsouin-1 well discovered in 2015, which would bring the estimated reserves of the gas fields discovered by Kosmos Energy in Mauritania to 50 trillion cubic feet. In any case, the announcement further enhances the attractiveness of this exploration sector located off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal, which – a sign of the times – is increasingly attracting oil majors (British Petroleum, but also Total and CNOOC in neighbouring Senegal), interested in the now proven potential of this area. In addition, with this new discovery, Kosmos has announced its intention to extend the deadline for selling its interests in the region to next year (the company had initially planned to do so by the end of this year) in order to « give potential buyers more time to analyze this new data ». It’s just another way to raise the stakes.

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