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Description

Kosmos Energy is an American upstream oil company founded and based in Dallas, Texas. While previously incorporated in Bermuda, Kosmos has reincorporated in Delaware. The company holds production and development operations offshore Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, and Gulf of Mexico, while holding a development project offshore Mauritania and Senegal, and exploration licenses offshore Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe and Suriname. It was previously involved in exploration offshore Morocco and Western Sahara. It discovered the Jubilee oil field off the coast of Ghana and the cross-border Tortue gas field offshore Mauritania and Senegal. Kosmos was the focus of a documentary Big Men that followed the company as it worked to establish the Jubilee oil field in Ghana.

History

Kosmos Energy was established in 2003 by founding partners James C. Musselman, Brian F. Maxted, W. Greg Dunlevy, and Paul Dailly. Initial backing came from American private equity firms Warburg Pincus and The Blackstone Group. Originally, it was incorporated in Bermuda.

Kosmos made one of the world's largest recent oil discoveries in June 2007, off the coast of Ghana. The company discovered the Jubilee Oil Field about 60 kilometres (37 mi) offshore. The first oil from the field was produced in 2010. The company and its operations in Ghana, around the time of the Jubilee discovery and work to develop the field, was the focus of Rachel Boynton's 2013 documentary-film Big Men. The documentary was shortened and adapted into a BBC television documentary Storyville: Power, Money, Greed and Oil.

Kosmos went public under the ticker symbol KOS on the New York Stock Exchange on May 10, 2011. The initial public offering raised more than anticipated, selling 33 million shares at $18 each. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange on August 21, 2017.

Kosmos and Chevron reached a deal in June 2012, where subsidiary Chevron Global Energy Inc. received a 50% working interest in Block 45 and Block 42 in Suriname, to boost operations. In May 2016, Kosmos reached a farm-out agreement with a subsidiary of Hess Corp., wherein Hess acquired a 33% non-operated interest in Block 42 from Kosmos and Chevron.

Kosmos began a controversial oil drilling project in the Cape Bojador area in 2014 off the coast of the disputed territory of Western Sahara. In an article from February 2015, former UN legal counsel Hans Corell stated that exploration activities by Kosmos and Glencore were in violation of the legal opinion he wrote for the UN Security Council. Kosmos responded that its operations complied with international law and were consistent with the UN opinion. Kosmos officials also told media it recognized that its work in the area must occur alongside UN-led mediation.

The company said local populations in Western Sahara would benefit from the economic development of the region. A Kosmos official told Reuters, "If we are successful, we believe responsible resource development has the potential to create significant social and economic benefits for Western Sahara and its people. We have worked in close partnership with Morocco — as the de facto administering power of the territory. They have a vital role to play in ensuring benefit sharing, among other important issues, will happen should we be successful".

In 2016, Norway's Council on Ethics recommended that the country's Government Pension Fund Global exclude Kosmos Energy and Cairn Energy Plc. from its investment portfolio due to their activities in Western Sahara. In June 2016, the Financial Times quoted Kosmos correspondence with the Council on Ethics: "We fundamentally disagree with the council's assessment of our activities offshore Western Sahara, where we have spent considerable time on the ground working with local people to understand their views of oil and gas exploration. The council's decision fails to recognize that people in Western Sahara—whom we have met in hundreds of face-to-face conversations—want the economic opportunities that come from increased foreign investment." In February 2018, Kosmos announced its withdrawal from Morocco and Western Sahara, marking the end of 17 years of companies in the oil sector there.

Kosmos made two significant gas discoveries offshore Mauritania in 2015. Kosmos discovered gas at its Tortue-1 exploration well in Block C-8 in April 2015, followed by another gas discovery in its Marsouin-1 exploration well, which was later renamed Bir Allah, in the northern part of Block C-8. A few kilometers south of Tortue-1, Kosmos Energy discovered gas at its Guembeul-1 exploration well offshore Senegal in January 2016.

The company continued to make gas discoveries in 2016 and 2017, including significant natural gas resources at the Teranga-1 exploration well offshore Senegal in 2016. In December 2016, Kosmos and BP entered a partnership in Mauritania and Senegal. BP acquired a 62% working interest, including operatorship, of Kosmos' exploration blocks in Mauritania and a 32.49% effective working interest in Kosmos' Senegal exploration blocks. In May 2017, the two companies made a major discovery off the coast of Senegal while drilling the Yakaar-1 exploration well.

Senegal and Mauritania signed a cooperation agreement to allow for Kosmos and BP to develop gas resources shared by the two counties in February 2018. BP and Kosmos made a final investment decision on the Tortue project in December 2018, leading to the first phase of the Tortue LNG development.

Kosmos Energy acquired Deep Gulf Energy, expanding Kosmos' oil and gas operations into the Gulf of Mexico, in August 2018. In December 2018, Kosmos was reincorporated in Delaware. Previously, it was incorporated in Bermuda.

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