bp deepens gas ties with Mauritania by exploring large-scale green hydrogen

bp is deepening and diversifying its gas profile in Mauritania after signing an MoU to explore the large-scale production of green hydrogen.

Together with Mauritania’s Société Mauritanienne Des Hydrocarbures (SMH), bp is working toward the completion of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Phase 1 liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which holds an estimated 15 Tcf of offshore gas reserves.

The development of this offshore project on the border of Mauritania and Senegal, approved in 2018, is set to produce around 2.3 million tonnes of LNG per year, once gas is extracted late 2023/early 2024, with sufficient resources to support production for over 20 years. Earlier this year, bp also announced the signature of an Exploration and Production Sharing Contract for the BirAllah gas resource in Mauritania.

Now bp is building on its existing relationship by exploring the development of significant green hydrogen production in Mauritania.

bp will initially carry out a data collection campaign with studies assessing the suitability of the wind and solar resources in selected locations for large-scale renewable power generation and green hydrogen production.

The MoU was signed in a meeting alongside COP27, by the President of Mauritania, HE Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, HE Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy for the Government of Mauritania, bp’s chief executive Bernard Looney, bp’s executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, bp’s executive vice president of production and operations Gordon Birrell and bp’s senior vice president for Mauritania and Senegal Emil Ismayilov.

Dotzenrath said it is already developing one of the world’s ‘most innovative gas projects’ with the support of the Mauritanian government.

She said, “Now we intend to expand our partnership into low carbon energy by exploring the potential for a world leading green hydrogen development which could position Mauritania at the forefront of the energy transition.”

With a 38% share of renewables in its electricity mix and a 50% target by 2030, Mauritania is a firm advocate of low carbon power.

In 2020, 43% of the population had access to clean cooking, the highest share in West Africa, and 47% had access to electricity, according to the IEA.

Speaking yesterday at COP27, Thierry Lepercq, Founder and President, HyDeal, said Mauritania is “showing the way” on hydrogen.

“Name one country which has a clear strategy on hydrogen – it’s not in Europe, but Africa. Mauritania wants to transform its country into the next UAE. It’s signing with a major oil company right now, a framework agreement for the production of potentially millions of tonnes of hydrogen,” he said.

The hydrogen economy will be a hot topic at the upcoming MENA Industrial Gases Conference in Abu Dhabi between December 12-14.

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