ExxonMobil takes three deepwater blocks off Mauritania

U.S. oil major ExxonMobil has signed production sharing contracts with the government of Mauritania for three deepwater offshore blocks.

“These blocks further enhance ExxonMobil’s leading global deepwater acreage position,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “We thank the government of Mauritania for the opportunity to evaluate the potential of this acreage using our expertise and advanced technology.”

Blocks C22, C17 and C14 are located an average of 124 miles, or 200 kilometers, offshore Mauritania. Together they measure nearly 8.4 million acres in water depths ranging from 3,300 feet to 11,500 feet, or 1,000 meters to more than 3,500 meters.

Following government approval of the contracts, ExxonMobil will begin exploration activities, including acquisition of seismic data and analysis.

ExxonMobil will carry out the work program as operator with 90 percent interest. Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier holds a 10 percent interest.

The oil and gas company did not say what it would be exploring for below the Mauritanian seabed.

It’s worth noting that Mauritania has started attracting oil and gas majors’ interest following recent exploration successes made by Kosmos Energy, which has made several gas discoveries there.

Earlier this year, BP completed the acquisition of a 62% working interest, including operatorship, of Kosmos’ exploration blocks in Mauritania and a 32.49% effective working interest in Kosmos’ Senegal exploration blocks. The approximately 33,000 square kilometers of acreage includes the world-class Tortue field, which is estimated to contain more than 15 tcf of discovered gas resources.

In May this year, French energy firm Total decided it was time to expand its Mauritania acreage by signing exploration and production contract to perform exploration works on offshore Block C7.

The French company also holds a 90 percent interest in the 10,150 square-kilometer C9 exploration license, located in the deep offshore. Total also operates the onshore Ta29 exploration license in the Taoudenni Basin.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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