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BP – The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG Project: Crucial Subsea Developments in Africa

Together with PETROSEN, Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures (SMH) and Kosmos Energy, BP has been working on developing an offshore liquified natural gas (LNG) project on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal. The project was signed by Mauritania and Senegal as an inter-government cooperation agreement (ICA) in early 2018, which outlined the development of a cross-border gas project for which the resources and revenues produced will be split between the sharing countries on a 50/50 basis. The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG project is estimated to contain up to 15 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable gas resources to benefit the development of both countries and their role in global LNG markets. 

Following the discovery of The Tortue Gas Field in 2015 through the drilling of the Tortue-1 Exploration Well and subsequent Guembeul-1 and Ahmeyim-2 Wells in 2016, the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Field Complex is expected to produce 2-3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG in the first phase of its development. The first phase of the development includes an ultra-deep subsea system with four gas production wells, a mid-water floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, and a nearshore floating liquified natural gas (FLNG) facility.  

The four wells are expected to produce up to 200 million metric standard cubic feet per day (Mmscfd) of gas. This gas will then be transported via an 80-kilometre (km) subsea tieback to the FPSO facility for processing. The FPSO facility will separate the condensate from the gas, and the gas will be offloaded from the FPSO to the FLNG facility. The LNG output produced will therefore be exported across international markets by tankers, whilst a portion will be allocated to Mauritania and Senegal. The final investment decision (FID) came for phase one of the development of the project in December 2018 and is expected to start production in the final quarter of this year.  

The FPSO used in the project set sail from the COSCO Shipyard in China and is set to arrive at the project site in the second quarter of 2023. It will be moored 80km offshore and accommodate up to 140 onboard during normal operations. The vessel is made up of 81,000 tonnes of steel, 37km of pipe spools and 1,520 km of cable, and is equipped with 8 processing and production modules to process up to 5000Mmscfd of gas. Consequently, the FPSO plays a crucial role in removing condensate, water, and other impurities from the field’s gas stream, so high-quality and pure LNG can be transported to the FLNG facility for international and local distribution.  

The project is set to take place over a period of 30 years, which will help to establish Mauritania and Senegal as key players in the global LNG field. This crucial development is set to bring continued prosperity on both a national and local level by establishing the GTA LNG Project as a new energy hub in Africa. Therefore, BP through its crucial partnerships, is delivering a bright energy future for Mauritania and Senegal, as well as positioning the continent as a key player in the future of energy facilitation. The Executive Vice President for Operations and Production of the GTA LNG project outlined in the press release for the second phase of the project that, it aims “to build on our strong collaboration with our partners, and the Governments of Mauritania and Senegal, to further develop a long-term, successful energy hub in West Africa. GTA continues to underpin our strategy to develop the most resilient hydrocarbons to help provide energy security today.”  

The second phase of the BP-operated GTA LNG project was recently announced to have been taken forward to the next stage of the development, as evaluations are beginning for a gravity-based structure (GBS) which will form the basis for the GTA Phase 2 expansion project. The GBS LNG structure development will have a static connection to the seabed and will serve as a key foundation for the liquefication facilities, whilst also providing crucial LNG storage. The second phase of the project will also include the development of new wells and subsea equipment which will develop the existing GTA infrastructures. BP and its partners are currently working with contractors to progress the second phase towards the pre-FEED stage.  

Furthermore, as the project continues to make great strides towards future developments of the LNG facilities in the GTA fields, BP and its partner companies involved in the project are crucially concerned with ensuring that safety, sustainability, and respect are maintained throughout its development both within the partnership’s operations and with the local communities. The partnerships have implemented a rigorous process of informed consultation, which is working with local communities to understand and mitigate concerns about the project’s activities. For BP, it is committed throughout its projects to making a positive impact on surrounding communities through its key operations to establish crucial energy infrastructure. Therefore, whilst the project is set to bring crucial change to the energy sector of Mauritania and Senegal, it is also keenly concerned with ensuring its impact is positive and sustains local communities for generations to come.  

Overall, the Greater Tortue Ahmeyin LNG Project is implementing crucial energy infrastructure that is expected to positively impact both Mauritania and Senegal. With its wells, subsurface and subsea developments, pre-treatment FPSO, LNG Hub terminal, FLNG facility, and LNG offtake facilities – the project is an expansive development which is set to put the region on the map for many years to come. For the next 30 years, the project is set to bring economic and energy development across the region and allow them to serve as a crucial hub not just to local countries but to the developing world of energy infrastructure.