Business News of Thursday, 13 June 2019
The Energy Ministry has asked Aker Energy to prepare a revised version of the entire integrated Plan of Development (PoD) the oil Company submitted to the Ministry on March 28 this year for the development of the Pecan Oil Field.
This follows its decision, partly on the advice of the Petroleum Commission and key industry stakeholders who recommended for a review of the whole agreement. Per the contract terms, Aker Energy has 45 days to submit the revised version of the new agreement– which is expected to expire on 27th June, 2019.
However, Aker Energy has requested for extension of the deal as a result of the company realizing that it cannot meet the deadline set for submission of the revised version of the plan of development.
The latest developments amount to a delay in the execution of what was already a tight timeline for the development of Ghana’s fourth oil field and one which could possibly as much as double the country’s oil production. Aker had announced that the field would commence production as early as late next year – a timeline which some industry analysts were already asserting was overly optimistic – and the current delay concerning approval of a PoD will certainly put paid to that deadline.
Reports gathered by the Goldstreet Business indicate that after the Ministry of Energy had reviewed the PoD by undertaking a series of assessments to ascertain Aker Energy’s capabilities and its plans to develop the Pecan Oil Field, the Ministry then returned it to the oil company for revision to be done.
The Commission confirmed this information, but insisted that it is a normal procedure and that there was nothing unusual with the process which is allowed for by legislation. Importantly, it by no means cast any doubt as to the eventual approval by government of a PoD by Aker which would subsequently be implemented.
Just as importantly, according to the Petroleum Commission, the insistence for a revision by government has nothing whatsoever to do with the recent controversy raised by IMANI Africa as the validity of the Petroleum Agreement which Aker is basing its ongoing activities with regards to the Pecan oil field.
Speaking with the Goldstreet Business, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Petroleum Commission, Mr. Prince Benjamin Aboagye said they were looking up to the tail end of this month for it to be presented to the sector Minister for approval or otherwise.
“At every stage, the expectation was to count 45 days for them to send back the revised version to the Minister and at the same time they [Aker] have that window where they can seek for extension”, he noted.
In January this year, Norwegian oil exploration company, Aker Energy announced the discovery of what is far and away the biggest oil find in the country off the coast of the Western Ghana (166 kilometres (100 miles) off Takoradi.
The find occurred in the oil rich Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block, which has given rise to Ghana’s three oilfields already in production namely, the Jubilee, Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa Gye-Nyame fields.
According to the oil and gas operator, the Pecan field holds an estimated 450-550 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), and further exploration could possibly increase the total reserves to as much as 600-1,000 mmboe.
The reserves already identified possibly eclipse the finds behind the three existing oilfields. Jubilee has reserves of 370 million barrels, TEN has 240 million barrels whereas the Sankofa field has 204 million barrels. This implies that the Pecan oil field could conceivably have reserves that exceed the estimated reserves of the three existing fields put together.