Saltpond Oilfields Needs $50m Revamp

Alex Mould
Alexander Kofi Mould, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), says an initial amount of $50 million is needed to revamp the oil exploration project at the Saltpond oilfields.

According to him, plans were far advanced to secure a new investor to take over the Saltpond Oilfields project.

Mr Mould, who was speaking recently at a press briefing in Accra, said the prospective investor should have the capacity to undertake shallow water exploration.

He said GNPC would be carrying out exploration work at the Saltpond oilfields, stating that ‘there are about five or six wells there which works are supposed to be carried on. We need to bring in experts to look at the field itself and we need to also invest in new technology.’

‘We are currently in discussion with few companies and hope by the end of the year there should be some progress with regards to exactly how the Saltpond field is going to be. In the next few years, the field should get back to production,’ Mr Mould said.

He said concerns that some monies had not been paid to government by the Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited (SOPCL) were being addressed.

‘The issue is being resolved now and plans are far advanced to make that payment to government in terms of surface rental and decommissioning fund that is supposed to be put aside by all producing fields,’ Kofi Mould said.

Recently, there were reports in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that stolen crude oil from Nigeria may have found its way to the Saltpond facility.

But Lushann International Energy Ghana Limited, an oil trading company, under licence from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) of Ghana, which also buys Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) from legitimate suppliers in Nigeria, and elsewhere and it blends with Saltpond oil to produce the ‘Saltpond Blend’ described the statement as false.

‘Lushann exports from its storage tanker stationed offshore Saltpond and accounts for all such exports to statutory bodies such as the Petroleum Commission, Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other stakeholders,’ it emphasized.

The Saltpond oilfields were reactivated in 2002 by Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited (SOPCL) after it was abandoned by various prospecting companies since its discovery in 1970.

By Cephas Larbi
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