Mauritania’s Mixed Energy Potential Highlighted at MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022

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The Mauritania country spotlight, which took place on the second day of the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference and Exhibition 2022,  was led by Chemsdine Sow Deina and El Hanefy Eybih, Exploration Director and Upstream Operations Director respectively for national oil company Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMH).

Holding half of the $4.6 billion transnational Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project’s 15 trillion cubic feet of gas, 13tcf at Bir Allah and a further 1tcf at Banda, Mauritania is a regional trailblazer. It holds the record for the largest renewable energy production per capita of any MSGBC nation with an estimated potential of 457.9GW solar and 47GW of wind power.

The spotlight presentation comprised four parts: an overview of the Mauritanian nation, summary of E&P opportunities, sharing of the national energy transition vision and description of openings in renewables. Thus commencing with Sow Deina’s remarks: “Mauritania has one of the most attractive investment climates in Africa: over 1 million square kilometers land area, extant mining and petroleum works constituting 27% of the economy, a variety of universities for local content training, three international airports, and the ASCAP 2016-2030 strategy promoting shared prosperity and accelerated growth through development of human capital, securing access to basic social services and integrating good government practices into ongoing operations.”

As highlighted, the country benefits from a strategic location not far from global energy services, yet also has considerable domestic markets as it aims to bring power to the 2 million residents by 2030. “The 105,000 square kilometer basin is untapped with important analogs in Senegal demonstrating its gas and oil bearing potential. And it was Mauritania itself that opened up the basin to the hydrocarbons sector with the Chinguetti field discovered in 2001 and producing up until the end of 2017.”

In the country’s master plan for development, 20 options for investment are outlined, targeting $20 billion buy-in, and the options are many. As Eybih notes: “We have over 38% renewables in our energy mix but hope to reach 50% by 2030. The Ministry’s goals are to bring clean, secure, universal access to energy so we are starting with gas, establishing ourselves as an LNG hub, developing our gas-to-power sector then transitioning to blue and green hydrogen for zero carbon power.” Specifically, in a pair of MoUs signed last year, Mauritania greenlit a pair of green hydrogen projects: Aman, the world’s largest at 30GW (18GW solar, 12GW wind) will produce 1.7 megatonnes per annum in green hydrogen, Nour at 10GW contributing 0.6 megatonnes annually of its own.

With 28 new offshore blocks up for bids, it’s clear Mauritania isn’t closing any doors in its power options.

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