Ghana launched a licensing round on October 15. This is the first open and competitive bidding round that the country has held, previously choosing to hold direct negotiations with oil and gas firms for acreage. Ghana is offering up three blocks in its offshore Central Basin.
According to reports, the licensing round has already attracted interest from major E&P firms, which have been conspicuously absent in Ghana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector to date.
Initial indications from sources in the Ministry of Energy suggest that BP, ExxonMobil, Total, Chevron Texaco, Rosneft, Sinopec and CNOCC will all be participating in the bidding.
The tender process is specifically focused on expediting exploration activity in the Central Basin. Ghana is calling on firms with the financial capacity and technical competence, coupled with the timescale for work program activity. Fiscal terms, including royalty payments to the government and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) equity is also an important issue in the tender process, as well as the equity and skills transfer to local partners under the local content aspect.