Ghana's GNPC lets contract for Jubilee oil field

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 -- Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC) has selected Nigeria’s Oando PLC to lead a consortium that will develop offshore and onshore pipelines, a processing facility, and other infrastructure for the Jubilee oil field.

“The choice of Oando…creates an opportunity for us to extend the success recorded in building Nigeria’s gas distribution pipeline system to other parts of West Africa,” said Oando Chief Executive Wale Tinubu. Oando’s consortium partners include GNPC, Saipem SPA, and Modec-Itochu.

Jubilee field, which is said to have reserves of 300 million bbl, is West Africa's largest offshore deepwater discovery in the past decade or more.

This week’s announcement about Oando follows reports last month that Vitol Holdings NV struck oil and natural gas off Ghana, about 38 km east of where Tullow Oil PLC and its partners are developing the Jubilee oil field.

Vitol said the Sankofa-1A well drilled by its Vitol Upstream Ghana Ltd. unit in the Cape Three Points Block had discovered a 33.1-m gas column and 3.2-m oil column.

“This is a hugely positive development for Ghana, as it proves there are other hydrocarbon accumulations offshore,” said Thomas Pearmain, analyst at IHS Global Insight, adding that Vitol could seek partners to farm into the block where the Sankofa-1A well was drilled.

Pearmain also noted that any further gas discoveries could lead to plans for an LNG export project as Ghana looks to diversify its energy sector.

Vitol has a 90% stake in the 2,080 sq-km block, while GNPC holds the remaining 10%, and has an option to double its stake if there is a commercial discovery. Vitol also operates the offshore Cape Three Points South Block.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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