French major Total reveals in its freshly-minted 2019 annual report that it relinquished Mauritania’s deepwater Block C9 in January. This follows a dry well (Richat-1X) in Q3 last year (MEES, 30 August 2019). Total also doubled its stake in block C18 immediately to the north from 45% to 90% as erstwhile partners BP, Kosmos and Tullow (each had 15%) withdrew in 2Q 2019 ahead of the block moving to a second exploration phase with a compulsory drilling commitment (see map, MEES, 14 December 2018).

Total has contracted the ‘Pacific Santa Ana’ drillship for two one-well options off Mauritania/Senegal from December 2020. But it remains to be seen if these options will be taken up amid plans to cut 2020 capex by 20% (MEES, 27 March). (CONTINUED - 168 WORDS)