Mauritania: FID expected in 2025 on bp’s new BirAllah gas hub

bp and Kosmos Energy have signed a new Exploration & Production Sharing Contract over the BirAllah gas discovery offshore Mauritania on October 11th. A new agreement was required after the exploration period over Block C8 expired last June.

The BirAllah gas field was discovered 60km north of the Greater Tortue-Ahmeyim (GTA) gas field that straddles the Mauritanian-Senegalese maritime border. Negotiations over future activity on the acreage have been ongoing for several months and were previously announced by Kosmos Energy, bp’s partner on Block C8.

The new EPSC signed this week provides for 30 months of studies and planning before submitting a development plan for the field, where a final investment decision (FID) is now expected in the first half of 2025.

50 Tcf of gas have been discovered on Block C8 across the BirAllah discovery in 2015 (Marsouin-1 well) and the Orca-1 discovery of 2019. The reserves are bigger than at the GTA field, where bp and Kosmos Energy expects to start producing gas and exporting LNG next year and are already preparing the expansion of their FLNG hub to 5 mtpa.

The BirAllah’s development plan is expected to further maximize local content and build on the domestic capacities developed during the development phase of GTA. The project includes an increased participation from the State of Mauritania – 29% – and will rely on the logistics capacities of the Ndiago Port, the Ministry of Petroleum, Mines, and Energy said.

The project is expected to include a domestic and an export component to maximise value from the gas. Mauritania is notably trying to push for domestic gas monetization to expand its power supply, and develop gas-based industries such as petrochemicals and steel.

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Africa’s biggest LNG exporter declares Force Majeure

A series of force majeure events have been declared by oil & gas operators in the Niger Delta, leading Nigeria LNG to declare its own force majeure on product supplies from the Bonny Island LNG terminal, the company has said today. Nigeria LNG is owned by NNPC (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International (10.4%). The company has revealed that all its upstream gas suppliers have declared force majeure following their inability to produce gas due to ravaging floods that have already displaced millions in the Niger Delta. The shut-in of gas production has caused significant disruption of gas supply to Nigeria LNG, forcing the LNG exporter to operate at limited capacity. Nigeria LNG operates six LNG trains on Bonny Island with a capacity of 22.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). LNG represents on average almost 10% of Nigeria’s export earnings, data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows. In addition to supplying LNG to global markets, the company is also the biggest domestic supplier of cooking gas to the Nigerian market. Most of Nigeria’s LNG is exported to Europe and Asia, with key European markets such as France, Spain, and Portugal amongst its largest buyers.

Niger-Benin Pipeline is 30% complete – Presidency of Niger

The Presidency of Niger has revealed last week that the Niger-Benin Oil Export Pipeline is 30% complete, during an official inspection on October 10th by President Mohamed Bazoum. “Over 600km have already been laid across several sections,” the Presidency said. The $4bn pipeline will be 2,000km long and link Niger’s oilfields in the Agadem Basin to an export terminal at Sèmè-Kpodji in Benin. It is being built by the West African Oil Pipeline Company (WAPCO), a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Upon completion, it will export up to 90,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from Niger. Its commissioning is expected at the end of 2023. CNPC currently produces only about 15,000 bopd from Niger to supply its 20,000 bpd SORAZ Refinery. Once the pipeline is operational, the Chinese operator intends to ramp up its production to 110,000 bopd, most of which would be exported. Spare capacity will still be available for third-party operators like Savannah Energy, operator of the R1234 PSC area onshore Niger. Details on the Niger-Benin Oil Export Pipeline and blocks activity onshore Niger are available in the “Projects” section within the Hawilti+ research terminal.