Mauritania has for some years been trying to interest suitors in its Banda gas field, a 1 trillion cubic feet structure with proven recoverable reserves of 590 billion cubic feet, originally earmarked by Anglo-Irish explorer Tullow Oil as a two-well subsea tie-back direct to shore to feed a power station, writes Barry Morgan.

Banda has passed through many hands since Woodside Petroleum’s discovery well in 2002. Roc Oil and Petronas have had a go, but despite support from the World Bank and best efforts by the latest operator to define a viable project, the field still lies fallow.