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Mauritania: Qatar Energy's oil and gas exploration is ‘significant development’

April 5, 2023 at 11:41 am

The new brand name and logo of Qatar Energy is revealed during a press conference in Doha on October 11, 2021 [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images]

The Mauritanian government welcomed yesterday the entry of Qatar Energy into the country’s oil and gas exploration sector, which is facing difficult economic circumstances and declining indicators, Anadolu has reported.

According to Mauritania’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mines, Qatar Energy’s entry into the sector “represents a significant development in these circumstances, which have seen a decline in foreign investments in the exploration sector at the African level.”

On Sunday, state-owned Qatar Energy announced its acquisition of a 40 per cent stake in Mauritania’s C10 offshore exploration zone. In comparison, operator Shell has a 50 per cent stake, and the Mauritanian Hydrocarbon Company holds the remaining 10 per cent.

The ministry stated that it has approved in principle the agreement signed between Shell and Qatar Energy. It welcomed Qatar Energy and expressed the government’s commitment to providing the best conditions for its investment in Mauritania alongside other oil and energy companies in the country.

“The agreement provides an additional opportunity to enhance Mauritania’s energy capacities through boosting oil and gas exploration operations in its territorial waters,” the ministry added.

Last year, Mauritania announced that gas reserves in the country are estimated at more than 100 trillion cubic feet, including the Turtle field shared with Senegal. The government said that it has plans to exploit its gas fields at a time when international demand for gas is increasing due to the ongoing supply crisis caused by the Russian war against Ukraine.

Experts believe that Mauritania will become the third-largest African country in terms of gas exports after Nigeria and Algeria. Mauritanians hope that the revenues from the country’s gas wealth will improve their living conditions and provide job opportunities for young people. The country has a significant rate of unemployment.

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