Mere chance? while the Sahel region is subject to disturbancesincreasingly violent, the news reminds us that the region is rich in oil.
French oil giant Total has just announced that it has signed two exploration licenses with the Mauritanian authorities in the basin Taoudéni very promising.
The group has acquired, as operator, a 90% interest in Blocks C 9 in ultra-deep water and Ta 29 onshore inthe basin Taoudéni . Mauritanian national company SMH will hold the remaining 10%.
The block C 9 is located approximately 140 kilometers west of the Mauritanian coast, extends over 10,000 km (! ...), With water depths ranging between 2,500 and 3,000 meters. Block Ta 29 is located in the Sahara desert 1,000 kilometers east of Nouakchott, north of Block Ta 7 in which Total is already conducting exploration activities.
In February 2011, the Algerian press reported that the French group Total and Sonatrach Algerian national energy company had in their wallets several projects in the Sahel. Most seem to be two groups of "grab" the most possible projects in Mali and Niger.
Recent discoveries of mineral wealth in the basin Taoudéni wide, 1.5 million square kilometers, divided between Mali, Algeria, Mauritania and Niger, cause now make a strong interest in this area.
Jean François Arrighi de Casanova, Director North Africa Total has reported huge gas discoveries in the area, slowing the progression of the well to the oil zone, Mauritania and even leading to talk of a "new Eldorado" .
Through its international subsidiary Sipex, Sonatrach has also received approval from the Nigerian Ministry of Mines to conduct experimental drilling.
As a reminder, Sipex is present in Niger since 2005, specifically in the scope of Kafra, located on the border between Algeria and Niger.
End of 2009, Sipex received a one-year extension of the first exploration period, citing a difficult political situation in the country.
In Mali, a subsidiary of Sonatrach has since 2007 acquired a further two years from the Malian Ministry of Mines for the first exploration phase will end in 2013.
At three months of the presidential election in Mali, the government already faces kidnapping al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the threat of a food crisis, must now face a new Tuareg rebellion.
Thus, the Malian army has taken on the night of Thursday to Friday the control of the three cities in the north-eastern Mali on Tuesday and Wednesday attacked by rebels.
"The Malian army has taken control of the towns of Menaka, Tessalit and Aguelhok. Reinforcements came on the spot, "said a military source region.
In these two cities, fighting 47 people were killed - 45 rebels and two soldiers - in the Malian Ministry of Defence.Tuareg rebels have been seen moving towards the north-western Mali.
More broadly, the instability caused by the activities of AQIM in northern Mali , instead of several implementations of its bases has been boosted by the return of Libyan territory hundreds of these rebels.