Par ediallo - 29 April, 2021 - 07:33

Dakar, 27 April (APS) - Senegal and Mauritania have agreed to strengthen their convergence of views on the project to exploit the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) gas field located off the coast of the two countries, APS learned from an official source on Tuesday.

This decision comes from the second session of the Strategic Committee of the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim project (GTA) co-chaired on Friday in Nouakchott by the Ministers in charge of Oil of the two countries, Sophie Gladima and Abdessalem Ould Mohamed Saleh, according to a statement received by APS.

The meeting followed the 6th meeting of the consultative committee on the development of the GTA project, during which experts from both countries had discussed six major points on the agenda.

The Ambassador of Senegal in Mauritania and representatives of partner companies of the project, namely BP, Kosmos and the two (2) national companies SMHPM and PETROSEN, took part in this meeting, the same source said.

It emphasizes that in opening the work, the Mauritanian Minister of Oil, Mines and Energy welcomed the work done by experts to ensure the safeguard of the interests of both countries around the project.

I am pleased with the quality of coordination and the great symbiosis that exist between our two countries, which have allowed us to defend the interests in the face of current difficulties in the oil and gas sector around the world, with the dimensions of uncertainty that exist in this market," said Abdessalem Ould Mohamed Saleh, quoted in the statement.

He recalled the need for both countries to see Phase 1 of the GTA project "brought to a successful conclusion as soon as possible", but also "the urgency of starting discussions now on Phase 2 of the project, which will realize the benefits that we can draw from these investments.

For her part, the Senegalese Minister of Oil and Energy said that "the issue of local content" is "particularly important" to the authorities of both countries.

We must work together, hand in hand, to bring our partners to apply the principles that we want to put in place, to allow our national private sectors and our populations, to make the most of this project," said Sophie GLADIMA.

We need to harmonize our points of view all the time, to discuss with one voice in front of the operator, so that our people can benefit from the exploitation of this gas," she added.

The Advisory Commission was created by the Agreement of Inter-State Cooperation for the development and exploitation of the unitized area GTA, signed on February 9, 2018 between Senegal and Mauritania. Its mission is to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of this Agreement.

During this sixth session, the GTA Project Advisory Commission reviewed 6 major points: the refinancing of the FPSO, in the face of the crisis caused by COVID-19, the taxation of subcontractors, the project security protocol, local content, domestic gas and the memorandum of understanding that must govern the said commission.

Among these points raised, the text states, an agreement on the security of the GTA facilities was reached between the two (2) national navies and the project operator BP. The two navies will ensure the safety of the project and the operator will make the necessary arrangements to take charge of this mission.

Regarding domestic gas, Mauritania and Senegal have a convergence of views to establish the necessary synergies, based on the real needs of their domestic market. To this end, they have listed a series of actions to be taken to facilitate this cooperation.

Regarding local content, the two states asked the operator BP to review its plans to comply with the provisions in force and thus allow private nationals and local staff to make the most of operations.

The other points were the subject of the formulation of guidelines on the basis of which discussions will continue, in order to reach agreements that will not affect the interests of either country.