Shell signs new contract for Block C2 offshore Mauritania

Shell has signed an Exploration & Production Contract (CEP) with the Ministry of Petroleum, Mines and Energy of Mauritania for offshore Block C2.

The block is located just south of C10, another license already operated by Shell E&P Mauritania since 2018, and east of C8 where bp has discovered the BirAllah and Orca gas fields.

The signing of the new CEP with Shell was approved by Mauritania’s Cabinet last week. The Government also approved the signing of an amendment to Block C10.

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Senegal: Ndar Energies to build a 250 MW gas-to-power plant in Saint Louis

On Wednesday, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Senegalese power company Ndar Energies S.A. signed a Framework Agreement for the development of a 250 MW combined cycle gas-to-power plant in Senegal. The agreement covers the financing, design, construction, and operation of the €430m facility that will be built in Saint Louis in northern Senegal, next to the border with Mauritania. Afreximbank will act as the Lead Project Developer and Mandated Lead Arranger. “The project, which possesses strong climate finance credentials, is in line with Afreximbank’s strategy to support the deployment of just energy transition solutions across Africa,” the bank said in a statement. Senegal is significantly expanding its gas-to-power capacity as domestic gas expects to become available in the coming years from offshore fields operated by bp. Earlier this month, President Macky Sall inaugurated the new 120 MW Malicounda power station which will ultimately run on gas and was co-developed by Africa50. Another 300 MW power plant has also been under construction in Cap des Biches in Dakar by West African Energy since March 2021.

BREAKING: Côte d’Ivoire to award seven new oil & gas blocks to Murphy Oil and PETROCI

Last Wednesday, Côte d’Ivoire’s Cabinet approved the signing of production sharing contracts (PSCs) for blocks CI-102, CI-103, CI-502, CI-531, and CI-709 with MURPHY Exploration & Production; and of blocks CI-523 and CI-525 with its national oil company PETROCI. Hawilti reported last September that both the American independent and PETROCI had expressed interest for the blocks. Independent operator Perenco was also believed to be in negotiations to acquire blocks CI-523 and CI-525. Several of these licenses hold undeveloped oil & gas discoveries that could be brought on stream relatively quickly. Murphy Oil Corporation The new portfolio of Murphy E&P, a subsidiary of Texas-headquartered Murphy Oil Corp., is particularly attractive. Blocks CI-102, CI-531, CI-103 and CI-709 form a straight column that stretches from the shallow waters offshore Abidjan all the way to deep-offshore areas where several wells have been drilled. CI-103 notably holds the Paon deep-water gas and light oil field discovered by Tullow Oil in 2012 and already appraised. In 2019, independent operator EnQuest had entered negotiations to acquire the block without reaching an agreement. Just north of Paon, Tullow Oil had also drilled the Calao-1X well in 2013, within current block CI-531. The independent had found good quality reservoir sandstone, although they were water bearing. CI-709 finally holds development potential thanks to wells previously drilled by Anadarko Petroleum in 2016 and 2017, although commercial quantities are yet to be proven. These include Pelican-1X that intersected around 21.3m of net oil pay in two separate interval, Rossignol-1X that encountered well-developed sands and roughly 4.6 m of net oil pay on water, and finally Colibri-1X that also hit hydrocarbon pay. PETROCI goes for gas On its side, PETROCI will acquire blocks CI-523 and CI-525 that hold the Ibex, Gnou, Kudu, and Eland gas fields. Both blocks are in shallow water next to the maritime border with Ghana and had previously been awarded to Taleveras and Afren and eventually to Vitol before the trader relinquished them in 2020. Interest for exploration in Côte d’Ivoire has been soaring since Italian major Eni announced a discovery at its Baleine-1X well in 2021. The discovery was appraised by the Baleine East-1X well in 2022, confirming some 2.5 bn barrels of oil and 3.3 Tcf of gas across blocks CI-101 and CI-802. In December last year, Tullow Oil had expanded its presence in the Tano Basin with the signing of a PSC for offshore exploration licence CI-803, which is adjacent to its CI-524 block where a well could be drilled in 2024. Significant prospectivity has been identified within the proven Cretaceous turbidite plays there, similar to the plays which are producing in the TEN and Jubilee Fields across the maritime border with Ghana.