Feb 12 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas producer Kosmos Energy said on Monday it expected a final investment decision in 2018 for its Tortue natural gas field offshore Mauritania and Senegal after the two West African countries agreed last week to split production from the cross-border field.
First gas from the project, jointly developed by Kosmos and BP Plc, is expected around 2021, Kosmos said.
The Greater Tortue Complex, which straddles the maritime boundaries of the two countries, is estimated to hold more than 25 trillion cubic feet of gas. The production is expected to be exported via a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.
Senegal's President Macky Sall signed an inter-governmental cooperation accord on Friday with his counterpart in Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, during a state visit.
Kosmos said the agreement provides for development of the Tortue field through cross-border unitization, with a 50-50 initial split of resources and revenues, and a mechanism for future equity redeterminations based on actual production and other technical data.
The agreement comes at a time when energy companies are pushing further west from the waters off established African producers such as Angola, Nigeria and Gabon.
However, in a region where maritime boundaries are often poorly established, the move into new, untapped territory carries the risk of inflaming tensions between neighbours. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)