Mauritania - Country Commercial Guide
Oil and Gas
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Since Kosmos Energy discovered a large natural gas deposit off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal in 2014, interest in Mauritanian offshore energy has exploded.  Three of the world’s supermajor oil and gas companies are currently exploring opportunities off the Mauritanian coast with 22 offshore blocks remaining open for negotiations.  While the government has solicited for tenders in the past, they are also open to unsolicited offers in this sector.  


In order to extract the gas from the GTA natural gas field, BP is building a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) hub off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal.  Given the FLNG hub, the offshore engineering equipment and services sector is rife with opportunity.  The Mauritanian government would like to make the port city of Nouadhibou into a regional hub (due to heavy fishing activity and increasing petroleum activity), which will require rehabilitation of the current 300,000 metrics tons (MT) oil storage capacity in Nouadhibou.  Additionally, the government would like to expand the storage capacity of oil products in Nouakchott by 150,000 MT.  In 2022, Mauritania entered a production-sharing contract (PSC) with BP and Kosmos Energy for the BirAllah gas field discovered in 2015, which boasts approximately 80 trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of gas, surpassing the GTA field.  The PSC, valid for 30 months, was signed by MPME, BP and Kosmos.  The aim is to finalize an investment decision by the first half of 2025.  The Mauritanian government will retain a 29% stake, and local involvement, especially around N’Diago’s port, will be prioritized to develop a midstream operation to include construction of a gas-to-power plant with a capacity of 180MW under an Independent Power Producer (IPP) agreement and the construction of a Special Energy Zone located in N’Diago Port.  The BirAllah field, potentially becoming an independent LNG hub, promises to significantly boost Mauritania’s economy and fortify its status as a gas producer. Based on BP’s economic projections, the field production could reach its limit by 2060.

The State-Owned Hydrocarbons Company “Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures” (SMH) is actively seeking new investors for the Banda Gas field discovered in 2002 off the Mauritanian coast by Woodside Energy, an Australian Company. Banda serves as a promising beacon of energy security and regional collaboration.  Empirical evidence underscores its potential: first, the estimated exploitable reserves of 1.2 TCF represent a substantial volume of natural gas. This quantity can be pivotal in significantly boosting electricity production to meet the demands of various regional beneficiaries including the SNIM, the State-owned Electricity Company (SOMELEC), and Kinross Gold Corporation, as well as potentially extending supply chains to Senegal and Mali.  Moreover, the World Bank’s committed to of 200 million USD as a guarantee over a 20-year operational period, to Banda, which underscores the international community’s confidence in the project’s viability and its potential economic returns. The transition from traditional energy sources to a cleaner natural gas-based power generation also aligns with global sustainable energy trends, positioning Mauritania and its partners on a trajectory toward greener, more sustainable energy futures. 

As part of its exploration advocacy, the GIRM is encouraging more development in their onshore oil and gas sector, specifically in the Taoudenni Basin located in western Mauritania. According to MPME, there are indicators that the Taoudenni Basin has a reserve of oil and gas, although the five wells drilled to-date have not yielded results.  Currently, MPME has 15,000 kilometers of 2D seismic data for this basin.  Finally, the government would like to build a refinery as well as expand the petrochemical and green hydrogen industry in the country.


The Mauritanides conference is one of the region’s largest international mining & energy conferences held biannually in Nouakchott, Mauritania.  This conference gathers top representatives from the mining, hydrocarbon, investment, banking, and service sectors along with equipment producers for three days of networking, knowledge sharing, and business matching. 

In November 2023, Mauritania hosted the regional  MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power event that focuses on the exploration, development, and investment opportunities of the region, demonstrating West Africa’s unparalleled potential through its first-rate gas monetization prospects; large-scale green hydrogen projects; and opportunities.