• Well is being drilled in the Mauritanian offshore block known as C-8
  • Kosmos is now planning an appraisal programme
  • The initial discovery was made at a depth of 4,630 metres

US oil and gas explorer Kosmos Energy has made a play-opening gas discovery off the coast of Mauritania.

The gas was struck by Kosmos’ Tortue-1 exploration well, which is being drilled in the Tortue West prospect, located in the Mauritanian offshore block known as C-8.

According to a company announcement made on 27 April, the well intersected 107 metres of net hydrocarbon pay.

“Volumetrically, the Tortue-1 well has far exceeded our pre-drill expectations and has discovered a large-scale gas resource,” says Andrew Inglis, Kosmos’ chairman and CEO.

“The Tortue-1 well has significantly de-risked our large and under-explored 27,000-square-kilometre deepwater position in Mauritania.”

Kosmos is now planning an appraisal programme to delineate the Tortue West discovery, which forms part of the Greater Tortue Complex.

The US-based company is planning to drill a well, known as the Marsouin-1 exploration well, in the central part of Block C-8. Drilling is expected to start in the third quarter of 2015.

An exploration programme is also being formulated to test other prospects in the Greater Tortue Complex, which extends into the St Louis Offshore Profond Block in Senegal, and includes the Tortue East and Tortue North prospects.

The Tortue-1 well is located about 285 kilometres southwest of Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott and is being drilled in 2,700 metres of water.

The initial discovery was made at a depth of 4,630 metres and drilling is continuing with a planned total depth of about 5,250 metres.

Kosmos owns a 90 per cent interest in the Tortue Prospect, with Mauritanian state-owned energy company Societe Mauritanienne Des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM) owning the remaining 10 per cent.

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