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Gas find offshore Mauritania will support major LNG development: Kosmos

London — Kosmos Energy and its partners have made a major gas discovery in the Orca 1 well offshore Mauritania with sufficient resource to support a world-scale LNG project, the US-based oil and gas explorer said Monday.

Orca-1, in the BirAllah development, encountered 36 meters of net gas pay and has a mean gas initially in place (GIIP) of 13 Tcf, Kosmos said. It is near the Marsouin 1 well where Kosmos and its partners first found gas in 2015, with the two plays in the BirAllah area having derisked up to 50 Tcf.

The find has raised the stakes for a comprehensive LNG and gas development in the region, after a recent string of finds in the deepwater basin offshore Mauritania and Senegal.

The well also confirmed 11 meters of net gas pay in "a down-structure position relative to the original Marsouin-1 discovery well", Dallas-based Kosmos said.

Kosmos chairman and CEO Andrew G. Inglis said the discovery concluded a very strong year for exploration and appraisal in Mauritania and Senegal.

"Orca-1, which we believe is the largest deepwater hydrocarbon discovery in the world so far this year, further demonstrates the world-scale quality of the Mauritania gas basin," Inglis said.

Kosmos said it will extend the timeline of its Mauritania/Senegal sell down process into 2020, due to the scale and materiality of the Orca-1 discovery, giving potential bidders additional time to analyze the new data.

Kosmos's partners in the BirAllah gas hub include oil major BP and the state-owned Soci?t? Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM).

Some 125 kilometers offshore Mauritania, the Orca-1 well was drilled in approximately 2,510 meters of water to a total measured depth of around 5,266 meters.

Gas hub

Exploration and drilling activity among oil majors and explorers in Mauritania has been growing steadily in the past few years.

To date, the main discovery in the acreage is the 15 Tcf Tortue field that straddles the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal and was expected to produce its first gas in 2022.

Kosmos and partners took a final investment decision on the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project last December.

It is designed in its first phase to export 2.5 million mt/year of LNG from an offshore area straddling the border between Mauritania and Senegal in West Africa before expanding to 10 million mt/year in later phases.

It adds to existing LNG facilities in West Africa that include the six-train Nigeria LNG, Angola LNG and Equatorial Guinea LNG facilities.

-- Eklavya Gupte, eklavya.gupte@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com