Mauritania awards deepwater offshore blocks

Offshore staff

DALLAS – Kosmos Energy has signed three production sharing contracts (PSCs) with Mauritania’s government for contiguous offshore blocks C8, C12, and C13.

All are in water depths ranging from 1,600-3,000 m (5,250-9,800 ft), and cover a total area of 27,200 sq km (6.7 million gross acres).

Kosmos will operate the blocks with a 90% interest, with state-owned Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocabures (SMH) carried for the remaining 10%.

Under the initial exploration phase, Kosmos plans to acquire 2D and 3D seismic data, with first drilling possible in 2014.

CEO Brian F. Maxted said: “The new blocks captured reside in the proven offshore Mauritania salt basin and include the outboard fairway of the under-explored Upper Cretaceous stratigraphic play concept, Kosmos’ core exploration theme.”

UK-based Chariot Oil & Gas has been awarded a 90% operating interest in a PSC for offshore block C19, again in partnership with SMH.

The block is 30 km (19 mi) offshore covers 14,125 sq km (5,453 sq mi) in water depths ranging from 5 m to 2,100 m (16-6,889 ft).

During the initial three-year period, Chariot will reprocess existing 2D seismic datasets and then acquire a new 1,600-sq km (618-sq mi) 3D survey. Thereafter, it may opt to move into a subsequent exploration phase involving drilling activities. In the event of a commercial discovery, the state has the option to increase its interest to 15%.

The area has similarities to Chariot’s Namibian offshore acreage, the company says, with proven petroleum systems but immature in terms of exploration. As in Namibia, Mauritania offers equitable fiscal terms and a developed, stable resource sector.


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