On Monday, 25 April, Sandra Jeque, International Conference Director for Energy Capital & Power (ECP) met with Ahmed Vall Mohameden, Adviser to the Minister for Cooperation and Communication to forge a partnership for the promotion of Mauritania’s energy sector. With ECP’s flagship West African event, the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference approaching, the Ministry, state NOC la Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures and ECP will form a single strategy for the promotion of offshore blocks in Mauritania leading up to and throughout the conference and exhibition.
During Monday’s talks, Vall Mohameden stated “African countries should stop acting alone and instead join forces towards the energy transition, building bridges of transnational cooperation for a more resilient regional grid.” As with continental energy leaders Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania is investigating the potential of green hydrogen for a decarbonized, low-cost, reliable power supply. The country also boasts world-class solar and wind reserves, producing the MSGBC region’s second highest volume of renewable energy per capita at 27.535 Watts, yet still actively seeks to expand its works in this space.
Indeed, renewables represent only one-quarter of total fiscal energy consumption for Mauritania, bioenergy being the largest contributor to this, followed by wind and solar. With the COP 27 conference approaching, hosted by Egypt this coming November, the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power event represents a crucial chance for key West African stakeholders to reconnect following COP 26 Glasgow’s events, unifying their energy narrative for the region in solidarity. MSGBC nations like Mauritania face a perennial issue in balancing the respective goals of energy decarbonization, supply volume and cost mediation.
Mauritania has a record 28 new offshore blocks open for bids from interested parties, numbered 1 through 36 and surrounding the existing C-7, C-8, C-10, C-12, C-15 and C-31 blocks operated by BP, Cairn, Shell and TotalEnergies. This is a rich region for upstream exploitation with proven reserves, such as the 13 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in C-8’s Bir Allah field and further 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas held in the Banda gas field. Discussions are underway with regards to fast LNG development, with a 2023 start of production slated for British Petroleum’s $4.8 billion transnational Senegal-Mauritania Grand Tortue Ahmeyim field. Gas-to-power works connected to Banda field could commence as early as 2024.
Last year, Energy, Capital & Power’s conferences saw $2.5 billion worth of deals signed, and this year’s MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power event will attract investment delegations from the United States, Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. With the event’s theme being “The Future of Natural Gas: Growth Using Strategic Investment and Policymaking,” Mauritania can expect to see wide-reaching interest in its new offshore blocks from corporate investors across Africa and abroad as the MSGBC region’s ‘gas rush’ gathers steam. The conference will be opened by H.E Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and elected Chairperson of the African Union, who has himself often advocated for stronger regional cooperation for development- a powerful supporter of gas exploitation for development and for a just African energy transition.
ECP’s Sandra Jeque also met with Toura Abdel Baghi, Director General of la Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures and Chemsdine Sow Deina, Director of Exploration at SMH. All parties reaffirmed the need for investment to tap the country’s rich natural reserves and the potency of public-private partnership in this regard: a subject top of the agenda for MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2022.
In Sandra Jeque’s words: “West Africa’s power sector is at a tipping point where new major developments could see the MSGBC countries and economies thrive. We need robust strategies and unification of stakeholders to bring out this transformation, wherein the MSGBC conference will act as the keystone in these nations’ investment and development drive.”
Energy Capital & Power is Africa’s foremost investment platform, newsroom and conference facilitator, achieving 5000 attendees and $2.5 billion worth of deals signed at events last year. Its reach spans 54 countries, with daily coverage of energy bulletins from active African markets distributed to 100,000 readers. It was founded in 2015.