‘Crude dip won’t affect Ghana’s oil industry’

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh

The Minister of Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Kofi-Armah Buah, has given an assurance that the drastic drop in the prices of crude oil on the world market will not have adverse effects on investor confidence in Ghana’s petroleum industry.

He said although the huge drop in the prices of crude oil had led to a dip in stock value that had negatively affected investment in the upstream sector, there was no cause for alarm.

“Companies have cut their projected budgets, investment plans have been reviewed downwards and there has been a lot of retrenchment globally, but Ghana’s oil and gas industry has not been affected that much,” he said.

Commenting on the impact the drop in crude oil prices might have on the economy in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the minister said: “Ghana has been lucky because even in the very depressed circumstances, we are still continuing with major projects in the upstream petroleum sector.”

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“As we speak, the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, Mills, has set sail from Singapore and will arrive in Ghana by mid-February 2016 and by the middle of this year sub-sea installations will be completed and tied to the FPSO Mills for oil production to start. Latest by August 2016, oil from the TEN project should flow,” Mr Buah stated.

He said gas from the TEN project would also flow by 2017.

He said the ENI Sankofa project was in progress, adding that “because of the reduction in the prices of doing business, we think it will reflect in the reduction of gas”.

“All the planned projects in Ghana have not suffered. That is really the emphasis. All projects are going according to schedule,” he said.

He said a plan of development (POD) for untapped oilfields near the Jubilee project was being developed.

Hess declares more oil

Mr Buah disclosed that Hess Corporation, an American oil company, had discovered oil in commercial quantities in two of its wells.

“Hess, after exhaustive appraisal work, has declared two of the seven discovered fields commercial.

“The fields that have been declared commercial are Beech-1 and Almond-1. The other five discoveries being appraised are Paradise-1, Hickory North-1, Pecan-1, Cob-1 and Pecan North-1. This is a clear indication that Ghana’s oil industry is continuing to expand.

“It is also very likely that Hess will build a new FPSO for the two fields after the POD has been approved,” Mr Buah added.
Hess has so far spent close to $1 billion on the project.

Hess discovery

Hess Corporation discovered more oil and gas in the deep sea off Cape Three Points in 2013.

In an official communication to its investors on the New York Stock Exchange on February 28, 2013, Hess said it had “completed drilling of its seventh consecutive successful exploratory well on the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points block offshore Ghana”.

Hess is a leading global independent energy company primarily engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas and the marketing of refined petroleum products, natural gas and electricity.

Paradise-1 was found to contain both oil and gas, while Hickory North-1 contains large quantities of gas.

The company said the Pecan North-1 well, which was the last well to be drilled, was located approximately seven miles northeast of another well dubbed ‘Pecan-1 well’.

The drilling of the wells spanned a period of three years.

Hess said it had achieved “outstanding drilling performance in terms of drilling time and cost per foot, with gross costs averaging $40 million per well for the last three wells, including success case logging”.

Ghana joined the club of oil-producing countries when Kosmos Energy and its partners discovered oil in commercial quantities in June 2007.