As the first phase of the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) gas project reaches 90% completion, and first gas targeted for the end of fourth-quarter of 2023, Mauritania and Senegal are already looking ahead to the next stage, which is expected to commence between 2024 and 2025.
According to Lehbib Khroumbaly, Advisor on Upstream Sector at the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy, and Mines of Mauritania, the Ministry plans to start phase 2 in 2025, “and we expect total completion in 2027,” he told Energy Capital & Power in an exclusive interview.
GTA is located 120 km off the coast at a water depth of 2850 meters, making it one of the deepest subsea projects in Africa. Phase 1, currently under development, will export gas to an floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) located approximately 40 km offshore, where gas will be processed and liquids separated before being exported to floating LNG facilities situated 10 km offshore. It is expected to produce around 2.3 million tons of LNG per year once operations commence.
Phase 2 will accelerate the economic development of both Mauritania and Senegal, positioning the two nations as major oil and gas producers.
According to Khroumbaly: “In Mauritania, the income generated by GTA gas will be reinvested in infrastructure projects and local capacity building, through the existing Sovereign Wealth Fund for Hydrocarbons”. The country also aims to shift from blue to green energy by 2030, with the advancement of promising green hydrogen ventures in parallel to natural gas projects. The recent departure of the FPSO from Singapore towards Mauritania and Senegal marks a significant milestone.
Expected to arrive in Mauritania’s waters by early July, the FPSO’s journey signifies a crucial step towards the realization of this ambitious energy endeavor. Additionally, Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMHPM) team members had the opportunity to inspect the FLNG Gimi, currently under construction, during their visit to Singapore.
Tourad Abdel Baghi, General Manager of SMHPH assured ECP that “the project is progressing smoothly, with over 3,000 dedicated individuals working day and night to ensure its success. With every passing day, we are getting closer to transporting the FPSO and FLNG Gimi to the region.”
Looking ahead, the GTA Phase 2 takes center stage, building on Phase 1’s successes. The approval of a new design based on a gravity-based structure (GBS) in February 2023 provided the groundwork for Phase 2. This critical phase’s investigations and conceptualization have already begun, putting the wheels in motion for further growth. The major goal of Phase 2 is to add up to 3 million tons of LNG capacity as well as a local gas component for both nations. This coincides with the goals specified in Mauritania’s National Gas Master Plan and lays the groundwork for long-term growth in the energy industry.
“The collaboration between the governments of Mauritania and Senegal is well-established. We would like to acknowledge and express our satisfaction with the joint work carried out by SMH, PETROSEN, and our partners bp and Kosmos,” Baghi continued, adding that since 2018, this collaborative approach has been instrumental in overcoming the complexities and challenges associated with such a significant development spanning two countries.
“This cooperative effort is a valuable example that deserves recognition, particularly within the West African context,” he said.
Tourad Abdel Baghi will elaborate more on regional cooperation at the upcoming MSGBC Oil, Gas, & Power 2023 conference and exhibition, taking place from November 21-22, in Nouakchott, Mauritania, under the patronage of the president, H.E. Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.