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BP describes 'world-class scale' gas finds offshore Mauritania, Senegal

Oil major BP PLC said its recent three-well drilling campaign offshore Mauritania and Senegal identified natural gas reservoirs that are of a "world-class scale."

The three appraisal wells drilled this year, GTA-1, Yakaar-2 and Orca-1, targeted a total of nine hydrocarbon-bearing zones and encountered 160 meters of net pay, BP said.

"This is an exciting result as it proves that our seismic data is identifying hydrocarbon reservoirs deeper than we had previously thought," BP's head of exploration, Howard Leach, said in a statement. "We have identified a large prospective area with considerable resource potential in Southern Mauritania. We will now conduct further appraisal drilling to help inform future development decisions."

BP said the successful results could underpin future projects, including a possible new development in Yakaar-Teranga in Senegal and in the Bir Allah/Orca area in southern Mauritania.

"The timings of both potential future developments will depend on the level of appraisal required, supporting commercial development plans and integrated gas master plans in the host nations," BP said.

A spokeswoman at BP confirmed that it had drilled additional wells in Orca-1 in the Bir Allah development and it encountered 86 meters of net pay across six reservoir intervals. This is more than double the 36 meters of net gas pay Kosmos Energy Ltd. said it had encountered in late-October. Kosmos Energy, which is working with BP on these wells, had said these finds raised the stakes for a comprehensive LNG and gas development in the region, after a string of finds in the deepwater basin offshore Mauritania and Senegal.

BP has been increasing its presence in the gas sphere recently. The oil major and its partners took the final investment decision for the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim floating LNG project offshore Mauritania and Senegal in late December 2018. It is designed in its first phase to export 2.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from an offshore area that straddles the border between Mauritania and Senegal in West Africa. The project is expected to produce its first gas in 2022.

The oil major has said it expects the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project, which includes the Tortue gas field, to become increasingly cost-competitive as it moves into later expansion phases. The project could be expanded to 10 mtpa.

BP's partners in Block C8, which holds Orca-1 in Mauritania, are Kosmos Energy and Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine. BP's partners in the Cayar Profond block, which includes Yakaar-2 in Senegal, are Kosmos Energy and Societe Des Petroles Du Senegal, or Petrosen. BP's partners in the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project are Kosmos Energy, SMHPM and Petrosen.

Eklavya Gupte is a reporter with S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.