With proven natural gas resources of over 28.3 billion cubic meters, Mauritania’s hydrocarbons hold the potential to transform both domestic and regional economies.
The government has placed gas monetization as a key component of its 2023-2030 Strategic Energy Vision, and with the country set to achieve first production in 2023 at the bp-Kosmos Energy-led Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project’s first phase – located on the maritime border of Senegal and Mauritania – an opportunity has arisen for the country to reap significant benefits from its nascent gas sector.
Kickstarting Gas-Based Industrialization
Monetizing offshore gas resources will unlock new opportunities for industrialization in Mauritania, enabling the country to diversify the economy and maximize employment generation. Mauritania has the potential to drive GDP expansion, owing to growth in sectors such as fertilizer production, petrochemicals, manufacturing as well as in energy-intensive industries such as mining, cement and steel production. Plans by the government to develop up to 180 MW of open-cycle gas turbine capacity by 2024; 120 MW of combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) capacity by 2026; and 310 MW of CCGT by 2027 to maximize resource exploitation under the Gas Master Plan could be a game changer for the Mauritanian economy.
Generating Baseload Electricity for Grid Stability
Mauritania has enough gas to meet its local electricity needs while supporting regional electrification efforts through networks such as the West African Power Pool. With the government aiming to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030, gas represents a critical component that will enable Mauritania to boost consumer access to electricity. Accelerating the development of giant discoveries such as GTA, as well as Mauritania’s BirAllah, Pelican and Banda while fast-tracking the rollout of gas-to-power infrastructure, remains crucial for the country to advance power generation and supply, as well as strengthen grid stability.
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Decarbonizing the Energy Industry
While oil represents the lion’s share of Mauritania’s energy mix, the government is seeking to accelerate decarbonization of the industry, with gas representing the ideal resource to increase the provision of cleaner and more affordable energy. With the energy transition taking center stage across the globe, Mauritania’s gas sector has a huge role to play, contributing to both decarbonization and industrialization, thereby ensuring the transition is just and inclusive. The development of gas in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the GTA development highlights the government’s commitment to maximizing resource exploitation while prioritizing environmental sustainability. By ensuring future gas infrastructure is emission-efficient and compatible with next-generation energy technologies such as renewables and green hydrogen, the country can lead Africa’s energy transition in a way that is both pragmatic and beneficial.
Increasing Revenue Generated from LNG
With the demand for gas rapidly expanding across the globe, Mauritania’s strategic position to European markets and sizable resource portfolio make the country a competitive potential exporter and producer. Having placed LNG export-import infrastructure as a defining aspect of projects such as GTA, the country is well positioned to increase foreign revenue generated from gas, enabling it to develop other sectors of the economy while advancing GDP growth on a long-term basis.
Incentivizing Further E&P Activity in Offshore Basins
Mauritania’s proven natural gas reserves, its success in getting large-scale projects off the ground and its strong ties with regional counterparts have made a strong case for heightened exploration and production in the country. With a potential upcoming licensing round, attractive fiscal policies on offer under the national Gas Master Plan and demonstrated political will, Mauritania’s upstream market is on the precipice of significant growth, as new players continue to flock to the market.
The region’s premier energy event, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power – taking place from 21-22 November in the capital city Nouakchott – will connect potential investors and project developers with the relevant public stakeholders, providing the ideal platform where new deals can be signed and projects launched. Through high-level panel discussions and meetings, exclusive networking sessions and technical workshops, MSGBC 2023 will investigate how the country can maximize its natural gas industry to unlock long-term economic benefits.