Oil supermajor BP has made a major gas discovery in the Orca-1 exploration well in the BirAllah area offshore Mauritania, partner Kosmos Energy announced on Monday.
Located approximately 125 kilometers offshore Mauritania, Orca-1 was drilled in approximately 2,510 meters of water to a total measured depth of around 5,266 meters.
The well, which targeted a previously untested Albian play, exceeded pre-drill expectations encountering 36 meters of net gas pay in excellent quality reservoirs, Kosmos said. The well extended the Cenomanian play fairway by confirming 11 meters of net gas pay in a down-structure position relative to the original Marsouin-1 discovery well, which was drilled on the crest of the anticline. The location of Orca-1, approximately 7.5 kilometers from the crest of the anticline, proved both the structural and stratigraphic trap of the Orca prospect, which Kosmos estimates has a mean gas initially in place (GIIP) of 13 trillion cubic feet (TCF).
In total, Kosmos believes that Orca-1 and Marsouin-1 have de-risked up to 50 TCF of GIIP from the Cenomanian and Albian plays in the BirAllah area, more than sufficient resource to support a world-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. In addition, a deeper, untested Aptian play has also been identified within the area and surrounding structures.
Partners in the BirAllah gas hub include SMHPM, Kosmos and operator BP.
Kosmos said the Orca-1 result continues a 100% success rate from nine wells targeting the inboard gas trend in Mauritania/Senegal and provides further confidence in the company's ability to predict the presence of high-quality gas charged Cenomanian and Albian reservoirs within the 400-kilometer long inboard Mauritania/Senegal gas basin.
Kosmos Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew G. Inglis said, “The Orca-1 well concludes a very strong year for exploration and appraisal in Mauritania and Senegal. Orca-1, which we believe is the largest deepwater hydrocarbon discovery in the world so far this year, further demonstrates the world-scale quality of the Mauritania gas basin. With sufficient resource in place at the BirAllah hub, Kosmos looks forward to working with the government of Mauritania and its partners to bring benefits to the people of Mauritania through the development of cost competitive, low carbon intensity projects.”
Kosmos had planned to sell down its interest in the Mauritania/Senegal basin by the end of the year, but, following today’s positive drilling result and due to the scale and materiality of the Orca-1 discovery, the company said it will extend the timeline into 2020, giving potential bidders additional time to analyze the new data.