ExxonMobil enters Mauritania oil and gas market with offshore blocks acquisition

ExxonMobil has announced it has signed production sharing contracts with Mauritania for three deepwater offshore blocks, signalling its first foray into the West African nation’s oil and gas exploration market.

The blocks, named C22, C17 and C14, are located 200km off the coast of Mauritania and measure nearly 8.4 million acres in water depths ranging from 1,000 metres to more than 3,500 metres.

The US-based energy giant will begin exploration activities across the blocks, including acquisition of seismic data and analysis, once the government of Mauritania has given full approval of the contracts.

President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company Steve Greenlee said: “These blocks further enhance ExxonMobil’s leading global deepwater acreage position.

“We thank the government of Mauritania for the opportunity to evaluate the potential of this acreage using our expertise and advanced technology.”

Recent discoveries by exploration firms Cairn Energy and Cosmos Energy have sparked interest in oil and gas fields offshore of Mauritania and neighboring Senegal, with BP now partnered with the latter on the respective project.

In other Exxon-related news, the company is also reportedly interested in entering Egypt’s offshore oil and gas market as competing energy majors seek to establish operations off the North African country’s coast.