Graphic Business News

Aker Energy eyes more oil blocks in Ghana

By: Maxwell Akalaare Adombila

AFTER successfully buying Hess Ghana Limited out of the Deep-water Tano Cape Three Points (DW/TCTP) block, Norwegian oil exploration and production (E&P) firm, Aker Energy, has expressed its intention to bid for new blocks in the country whenever the opportunity arises.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jan Arve Haugan, however, told journalists in Accra that a bid for new blocks would be informed by company’s understanding of the geology of offshore Ghana.

“It will also come after Aker Energy has proven its capabilities to itself and the Government of Ghana that it is a good contractor,” Mr Haugan said in his first media interaction in the country after the US$100 million farm-out of Hess Ghana in the DW/TCTP block.

The deal was announced in February this year, marking the exit of Hess from Ghana and the entry of Aker Energy, the energy wing of Norwegian billionaire Mr Kjell Inge Rokke’s business empire, into the country’s upstream petr

The block is an ultra-deep-water, about 2,400 meters below sea level and has proven reserves of 550 million barrels of oil, with additional potential for 400 million barrels.

Since sealing the deal, Mr Haugan said Aker Energy had been working to submit a plan of development to the government to pave the way for development works to start next year.

While at it, he said the company would also be studying seismic data available to it to help give it a better understanding of Ghana’s offshore geology.

“You probably know that as the operator of the deep-water block, we have already performed some seismic acquisitions and so PDS – the seismic survey company – has already given us some.

“An important part of that is to transform that seismic data into geological maps and when we start looking at them, we will get to know more about offshore Ghana and of course that probably is the most important feature on whether we are interested or not,” he said.

Replicating success
Explaining further, Mr Haugan said Aker Energy was of the firm belief that it was possible to replicate expertise acquired in one project to another.

“So when we look for further opportunities in the country, we will think like this; let us go for a reservoir or block that we can easily apply what we already have designed and built,” he said and added: “I am not using copy and paste because it is not that easy but industrialising the delivery models and then the products is an important feature for us.”

FPSO capacity
On the prospects of the DWTCTP block, the CEO said the company was working to ensure that the average daily oil production of oil would be above 100,000 barrels.

He, however, declined to state how much it will cost to develop the block for production to begin in 2021 except to say the cost will mirror those expended on similar projects.

The Jubilee Field, which is Ghana’s first commercial field, cost US$4.9 billion to develop, although further development works have taken the figure upward.

The cost of development is expected to be captured in the plan of development (PoD), which Mr Haugan said would be submitted to the government by the end of this year. –GB