BP confident about cost-competitiveness of West-Africa’s LNG

British multinational oil and gas company BP expects the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, located in Mauritania and Senegal, to become increasingly cost-competitive as it moves into later expansion phases.

GTA is BP’s flagship project in the region and is said to contain an estimated 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and. BP is developing the project alongside US-based Kosmos Energy, who made the discovery, and Senegal’s national oil company Société des Pétroles du Sénégal (Petrosen) and Mauritania’s Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et du Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM). Official figures from BP state that first gas will be produced at a rate of 2,5 million tons per annum (MPTA) during the first phase then quadruple to reach 10 MTPA during expansion phases.

“The real excitement comes in the next phases as we build the system out,” CEO of Upstream, BP, Bernard Looney stated after BP’s fourth-quarter earnings presentation in London.

He added that there are more potential discoveries in the area, with rough estimates at between 50 tcf to 100 tcf of gas in place across the region.

“We will have pre-invested in the original infrastructure, so the subsequent phases will be extremely economic,” he said.

BP has received very competitive responses to tenders for GTA as part of its strategy to continue to decrease costs. The company and its suppliers work hand in hand to “collectively lower the cost base of the industry to remain in a competitive environment.”

Speaking more generally about LNG projects in the continent, Looney stated that BP is seeing no sign of increased costs of LNG projects and predicts more investment decisions in early 2020 as the LNG market will tighten. Senegal/Mauritania’s GTA will be the continent’s fourth LNG unit, adding to Nigeria’s six-train as well as Equatorial Guinea and Angola’s facilities.

GTA was discovered in 2015 by Kosmos Energy who transferred the operatorship later on to BP. The joint-venture took a final investment decision in December 2018 and first production is expected in 2022