Ghana's new oil fields are on schedule to start production next year as development has passed the half-way stage, lead operator Tullow Oil said on Thursday.
The offshore Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) project, which will have a peak production capacity of 80,000 barrels-per-day, is expected to cost close to $5 billion.
Ghana, which exports cocoa and gold, joined the league of African oil producers in late 2010 when it began pumping crude from its offshore Jubilee field with an average output currently at 100,000 bpd.
The government approved the development plan for TEN in May 2013. It is expected to produce oil for around 20 years.
Tullow said drilling of the first 10 wells required for the start-up next year had been completed weeks ahead of schedule.
"The floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, which will receive and store the oil, is under construction in Singapore and remains on schedule to arrive in Ghanaian waters in February 2016," the company said in a statement.
Other partners in the TEN project are the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Kosmos Energy, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and PetroSA.
Ghana is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund over an assistance package to help fix its economic challenges including high deficits and widening debt.
In addition to a potential IMF package, the government is hoping to use potential hydrocarbon resources to stabilise the economy and bolster growth. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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