Mauritania: Year's Largest Gas Find
The largest gas discovery of 2019 to date was announced in late October. Orca-1 was drilled in 2,500m of water about 125 km off the coast of Mauritania in Block C8 in the BirAllah area. It discovered 36m net gas pay in excellent quality reservoirs in a previously untested Albian play, before continuing down to find 11m gas pay in the main Cenomanian target. The well is approximately 7.5 km down-structure from the crest of the anticline drilled by the original Marsouin-1 discovery well and proved both the structural and stratigraphic trap of the Orca prospect, which has a mean gas initially in-place estimate of 13 Tcf or 1.3 Bboe. It is estimated that in total Orca-1 and Marsouin-1 have de-risked up to 50 Tcfg in-place from the Cenomanian and Albian plays in the BirAllah area, and a deeper, as yet untested Aptian play has also been identified in the area; this is thought to be more than sufficient resource to support a world-scale LNG project.
The BirAllah area is operated by BP with 62%, along with partners Kosmos, who are looking to divest some of their 28% stake, and state company SMHPM with 10%. This is the ninth successful well in succession drilled by the consortium along the 400-km-long Mauritania–Senegal seaboard.