QatarEnergy farms in to Shell’s Mauritania asset ahead of potential play-opening wildcat

State-owned QatarEnergy has agreed to farm into Shell’s Block C-10 offshore Mauritania where the UK supermajor is aiming to drill a high-impact wildcat later this year.

QatarEnergy on Sunday said it has entered into an agreement with Shell to acquire a 40% working interest in Block C-10, which covers some 11,500 square kilometres approximately 50 kilometres off the Mauritania coast. Water depths at the block range from 50 to 2000 metres. Subject to government approval, operator Shell will hold a 50% interest in the asset while Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMH) will have the remaining 10% stake.

Terms of QatarEnergy’s farm-in deal were not divulged.

Shell has been granted a six-month extension to its C-10 licence to enable it to drill the potentially plan-opening wildcat on C-10 which, it is understood, will be targeting oil potential in a carbonate play that extends into contiguous Block C-2 that the company was awarded earlier this year.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to participate in Mauritania’s upstream sector which further builds on our exploration footprint in Africa, and we look forward to a successful exploration programme,” said QatarEnergy chief executive, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with our strategic partner Shell and with SMH. We also look forward to collaborating with the Mauritanian government and thank them and our partners for their valuable support and cooperation.”

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Woodside Petroleum and subsequently Tullow Oil previously operated Block C-10, which is home to the Walata, Banda and Tevet discoveries.

Block C-2 lies directly south of C-10 and is thought to hold similar prospectivity. Upstream on 23 February reported it was Shell’s analysis of 6205 square kilometres of 3D seismic data acquired over C-10 that triggered its interest in C-2. The supermajor has a 75% operated interest in this exploration block in Mauritania’s Coastal basin and SMH is its sole partner.