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Govt to launch 2nd oil & gas licensing round

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By Elorm Desewu

The government will next year launch the country’s second oil and gas exploration licensing round.

According to Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, six to eight blocks with the Western, Eastern and Central basin would be on offer for potential investors.

“During the launch, we would make the seismic data available for investors”, he told journalist at the 26th Africa Oil Week, in Cape Town South Africa.

 The seismic data is one of the most essential components of successful oil and gas exploration. Data gathered through seismic survey allows geoscientists to visualize the subsurface of the earth using waves of sound to “map” geologic structures. This data helps to determine the location of oil and gas reservoirs.

International oil companies would be expected to submit expressions of interest. Local companies will be pre-qualified for participation. The pre-qualified applicants will be announced and invitations to tender will be issued to them. The Licensing Bid Rounds and Negotiation Committee will evaluate the bids and the successful bids would be announced followed by negotiations with the committee.

Mohammed Amin Adam, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of petroleum, is confident that the country’s energy sector is on the brink of something big. He says the country can expand oil production from 180,000–-200,000bl/d now to 500,000bl/d within six years, and is targeting up to 1mn bl/d beyond that. “If we want to sustain or increase production, we will have to be very aggressive in exploration,” he said.

The average production for TEN field in 2017 was 56,000 b/d whilst production for the OCTP field is expected to peak this year at 45,000 b/d. In addition to the two established fields there are other developments that are moving ahead rapidly such as the Teak, Akasa and Mahogany East discoveries where test wells have indicated sizeable reserves.

Another major scheme is the Ghana 1000, a multi-phase greenfield gas-to-power project located near Takoradi in the western regions of Ghana. This will consist of approximately 1,300MW of combined cycle power generation technology once fully built and will support Ghana’s burgeoning domestic natural gas industry by purchasing natural gas from the Sankofa gas field, part of the OCTP field. A subsea pipeline will link a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) to onshore facilities which will then supply the project. It’s expected that the FSRU will start up sometime in 2020.

Ghana completed its first oil and gas licencing round earlier this year with two of the five blocks on offer being awarded. First Exploration and Petroleum Development, in partnership with Elandel Energy (Ghana) emerged as winners of block WB02 while Eni Ghana and Vitol Upstream Tano claimed block WB03. Block WB03 is located in the medium deep waters of the prolific Tano Basin, offshore Ghana. 

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