Shell is set to drill a play opening wildcat this year offshore Mauritania, a country where this week it has just been awarded a second exploration licence.

Mauritania is known for its significant gas resources, particularly BP’s big BirAllah discovery in block C8 and, in the same block, the country’s 50% share in the same operator’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) field that straddles the maritime border with Senegal.