BP and joint venture partner Kosmos Energy have revealed a major gas discovery off Senegal, adding to other recent finds off the West African coast.

Oil majors are investing in the waters of Senegal and Mauritania in the hope of repeating the recent exploration success of smaller players.

"Yakaar-1 … further confirms our belief that offshore Senegal and Mauritania is a world-class hydrocarbon basin," Bernard Looney, the CEO of BP Upstream, said on Monday.

In 2015, New York-listed Kosmos discovered a gas pool in the Tortue 1 exploration well, part of the Greater Tortue Complex spanning Senegal and Mauritania, which contained more than 424-billion cubic metres of gas.

Since then, BP has formulated plans to acquire a 30 per cent interest in the two offshore blocks called Saint-Louis Profond, which includes the Senegalese sector of the Tortue field and Cayar Profond. BP has also agreed to buy a stake of close to 60 per cent in Kosmos’s Mauritanian exploration blocks.

Gas from the Tortue field is due to begin flowing in 2021 and to be exported from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility. The two firms said the Yakaar-1 find had sufficient reserves to warrant another LNG project.

Kosmos spokesman Thomas Golembeski declined to give further details on the nature or timing of the project.

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