Mauritanian shoreline

exploration detail – mauritania

Mauritania is an established oil producing region with multiple discoveries made to date and a new oil play in the Late Cretaceous has been proven in the Frégate prospect. Further field development is planned and several wells are scheduled for drilling by other industry players this year.

  • Mauritania lies on the margin of the Central Atlantic, the oldest segment of the Atlantic which began opening in Triassic times
  • Plate reconstructions show this part of the Atlantic opening at the same time as the Tethyan Ocean (an ancient ocean now largely closed with relics along the Alpine foldbelt) and the Gulf of Mexico
  • Exploration has been sporadic in this basin but has resulted in several oil and gas discoveries that are under development by Tullow as well as the producing Chinguetti field
  • Good quality oil is sourced from prolific Cenomanian-Turonian age source rocks (the same as the source for the Ghanaian oil fields) and is contained in Tertiary age deep marine sandstones sealed by shales
  • At this stage of prospectivity development, Chariot has identified several potential target levels and a fairway for trapping geometries likely to be largely stratigraphic but with structural potential
  • The quality of the source rock and of identified reservoirs as well as the size of analogue trap types means the potential prospect size in C-19 is large with prospective resources of ~400mmbbls+

Mauritania offshore has a north-south Mesozoic carbonate margin that forms the boundary between deep and shallow water. Outboard of this margin lies a central salt basin which has seen most of the deepwater exploration drilling principally targeting Tertiary turbidite reservoirs with the Chinguetti producing oil field and gas and oil discoveries at Banda, Tiof and Tevet. 

In partnership with Cairn,  Chariot carried out acquisition of 3,500km2 of proprietary 3D seismic data which also included specialised processing, iterative interpretation and spectral decomposition analysis. This survey targeted deep water canyon-head, channel and fan systems that had been identified on legacy 2D seismic data which are analogous to nearby discoveries (such as the Banda field with reported resources of c.300mmboe).  

From this data the Partnership identified and matured a significant prospect and lead portfolio which includes four prospects that are now drill ready. These prospects have been independently validated by NSAI and a dataroom is open as part of an additional partnering process.

A number of Chariot’s prospects are supported by extensive seismic attribute conformance with structure while shallow marine sands in legacy wells, as well as seismic evidence of turbidites, support the presence of reservoir. From the inventory, prospect PA-1, of gross mean prospective resources of 431mmbbls (NSAI) in the Paleocene fairway, has been high graded as the target drilling candidate owing to its robust trap with attribute support.  Additional analysis of Chariot’s 3D data has recently identified further prospectivity within this play, extending in to shallow water, offering follow-on potential in the PA-1 success case. In addition to the Paleocene fairway, our Mauritanian acreage contains drill ready prospects within the KT-1, MA-1 and BFT-1 prospects, some of which offer stacked targets, and a further 13 leads have been mapped offering additional follow on potential. A dataroom is currently open describing these opportunities and the Company aims to secure a partner in order to progress towards drilling.

Recent discoveries of material volumes of gas to the west and south of the salt basin are reported to have encountered excellent quality Cretaceous turbidite reservoirs that clearly have the capacity for material accumulations of hydrocarbons.  In addition to Chariot’s own work, 2013/2014 saw further de-risking of the petroleum system in this region through the drilling of the Cretaceous by third parties. As well as the producing Chinguetti field that lies to the south of Chariot’s acreage, there are seven wells in the vicinity of Block C-19, with four discoveries (Aigrette, Pelican, Cormoran and Frégate) and two wells in the block with significant oil shows. Within the block itself there is proof of working petroleum systems in the Cretaceous, Neogene and Palaeogene, with source rocks modelled to be oil generating. There are also extensive natural slicks indicating oil seepage. In 2015 the discoveries of gas and liquids reported to the south of C-19 provided further understanding the working petroleum systems in our licence area.


Forward Plan:

  • Drill one of the four prospects identified to date subject to partnering. PA-1 priority target

Third Party Activity:

  • Three wells offshore testing multiple plays over the next two years

Remaining Commitments:

  • Chariot has no remaining commitments offshore Mauritania.