Petrofac Nabs $60 Million Mauritanian Decommissioning Contract

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London-listed, Tullow Oil, announced the transfer of project decommissioning work in its Mauritanian Banda and Tiof fields from Danish megafirm, Maersk Decom, to British oilfield service provider, Petrofac. The contract, holding a potential total value of over $60 million, includes the provision of project management, engineering, planning, plugging and abandonment services across seven subsea wells in Banda and Tiof together with provision of all personnel, assets and equipment.

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Management services for the Island Innovator drilling rig and offshore support vessels is also included. With the mutually agreed contract transfer, Maersk Decom will be officially ceasing operations—any future decommissioning works necessary will be performed by Maersk Drilling or Maersk Supply Services. Maersk Decom had previously been preparing for the fields’ decommissioning since 2020.

Together, the Banda and Tiof fields represent some of Mauritania’s earliest hydrocarbon developments and will continue operating after the decommissioning of their older wells. Banda was discovered by Australian megafirm, Woodside, in 2002 with Tullow Oil taking over with appraisals in 2008.

Tullow Oil declared the field commercial as of 2012 and production commenced in 2016. Holding an estimated one trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Banda field has become the keystone of Mauritania’s first gas-to-power plans, initially generating 125 MW, sold domestically to mining firms onshore.

The Tiof field lies further afield, 84 km offshore Mauritania’s coast compared to Banda’s 53 km and with a 1,200-meter water depth compared to Banda’s 300 meters. The Tiof field’s development is very much owed to Woodside who initiated production in 2009 with a leased Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel, extracting 50,000 barrels per day from Tiof’s 40-60 million barrels of estimated reserves.

Thus, the contract transfer not only marks the next stage for two of Mauritania’s now maturing oil and gas fields but also a major advancement for Petrofac’s presence on the African continent. Since 2016, the firm has successfully delivered three decommissioning campaigns for Tullow Oil. This, however, will be their first project in Mauritania and one of few contracts altogether won by the service provider in Africa, signalling scope for a firmer move into the MSGBC region’s emerging hydrocarbons industry.

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Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor is Energy Capital & Power's Field Editor for the MSGBC region. He holds a PgD in Environmental Engineering and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. He is also a bestselling author, TED speaker and charity CEO, having priorly worked as a columnist for India’s largest newspaper: The Daily Pioneer.

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