Monday, October 10, 2011

Sahara, Hess want a piece of oil cake

Sahara Energy Fields Limited and Hess Ghana/Rockfield are seeking exploration and production rights over blocks offshore West Keta block and East Cape Three Points of the Jubilee offshore field.

“We’ve evaluated their applications for these open blocks and have made the necessary recommendations to the Ministry of Energy for consideration,” Mr. Thomas Manu, Director of Exploration and Production at GNPC told the Business and Financial Times on the sidelines of a press conference organised by the Ministry of Energy.

“The blocks have potential, but for now it is up to the Ministry to accept or reject the recommendations by GNPC,” said Mr. Manu.

The areas off the west coast of Africa have been among the hottest oil plays in recent years, with companies such as Anadarko Petroleum, Kosmos and Tullow Oil Plc making major discoveries. Ghana’s total oil reserve is estimated at least 1.25 billion barrels.

According to Dr. Oteng-Adjei, currently there are 13 different petroleum operations being undertaken along the country’s shoreline at different stages of exploration and development.

He said the country’s total crude oil production from the Jubilee offshore field stood at 16.7 million barrels between January and September this year.

“There was a total of 24 crude liftings from the field by all the partners. The Ghana Group earned a total of US$337,337,945 from the sale of the first three liftings totalling 2,980,720 barrels of crude oil,” he said.

Ghana achieved an industry record of 3.5 years (40 months) from discovery of oil to first oil production which began December 2010.

Oil production increased steadily from the initial average of 45,000 barrels of oil per day in January 2011 to about 77,000 barrels of oil per day in August 2011, said the Minister.

The country is likely to miss its target of boosting oil production to 120,000 barrels per day by the end of the year.

“There are some technical issues. We cannot meet the 120,000 target this year,” Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye told B&FT.

The current output is about 80,000 barrels per day, but some additional wells will be drilled to boost production, Asafu-Adjaye said, adding that “we’re very hopeful we will meet the 120,000 target in the first quarter of 2012.”

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