Royal Dutch Shell has secured production sharing contracts from the Mauritanian government for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons from two blocks in the Mauritania offshore area.
While its Shell Exploration and Production Mauritania subsidiary bagged rights for the C-10 block, its another subsidiary - Shell Exploration and Production Mauritania won the production sharing contract for the C-19 block.
The two offshore Mauritanian blocks are contained in water depths ranging from 20 to 2,000m and are spread across an area of nearly 23,675kms.
Shell revealed that the new block C-10 is made up of three previous blocks, namely C-10, C-28 and C-29.
Shell upstream director Andy Brown said: “This move represents Shell’s entry into the West African Atlantic Margin exploration basin, which has significant potential.
“We look forward to working with the government and people of Mauritania as we bring our expertise and technical capability to help develop the country’s emerging energy sector.”
Subject to customary government approvals of the production sharing contracts, Shell plans to establish an office in Nouakchott and commence exploration activities. The British–Dutch oil and gas firm will begin with reprocessing and analysis of already available seismic data and acquisition of new data.
Shell with a stake of 90% will operate the exploration program while the remaining 10% stake will be held by Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier, the Mauritanian national oil company.
The company has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mauritanian government to jointly evaluate additional offshore exploration opportunities, study new ways of addressing the country’s domestic energy requirements, and create capability in the energy sector.
Mauritanian Oil, Energy and Mining Minister Mohamed Ould Abdel Vetah said: “Shell’s new entry in the Mauritania offshore area represents an important added value to the exploration activities and will contribute to maintain the momentum for developing the energy sector in Mauritania.”
Shell also disclosed that Shell Exploration and Production Mauritania has made a deal with Chariot Oil & Gas Investments (Mauritania), a subsidiary of Chariot Oil & Gas, for a back in right for a working interest of 10-20% equity in the C-19 block in the future. This deal will be based on approval from the Mauritanian Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines.
Last month, Shell completed sale of its 22.2222% stake in the Bongkot field and adjoining acreage offshore Thailand to PTT Exploration & Production Public (PTTEP) and PTTEP International for a total of $750m.