Oil was discovered in the deep waters of Mauritania in
2002 in the Chinguetti field. Production from this field began in 2006
although operator estimates of its potential were too optimistic owing
to its complex geology.
Further satellite and more distant deep water fields which have been
discovered, will allow the country to increase output consistently
although the performance of Chinguetti has been markedly below
Marketed gas production is forecast to begin in 2013 both of associated
and free gas. There is no short term onshore potential in Mauritania
although some areas are being explored.
Oil consumption in Mauritania has declined since 2005 but
is likely to pick up again in 2011 for a few years, whilst indigenous
output is growing. Exports will begin again in 2011 and will increase
further as he country reverts from being an oil importer to an oil
The country will see increasing gas consumption after 2013 but is
unlikely to find a gas export market in the near term.