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Monday, 11 October 2010 08:41

Russia and Ghana Cooperating in Oil Industry

By Miao Y. Huixia 

MOSCOW, October 11, 2010 (Buziness Africa) - Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil president, and Joseph Oteng-Adjei, the minister of Energy of the republic of Ghana, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after the parties had discussed implementation of a joint project encompassing exploration, appraisal, development and extraction of hydrocarbons at the Cape Three Points Deep Water block (CTPDW).

 

Lukoil joined this project in July of 2006. In June of 2009, a new framework agreement was signed. The project participants are Lukoil (56.66%), Vanco (28.34%) and the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (15%).

 

"We are almost certain that we will have commercial development," Dmitry Timoshenko said at a press conference in Moscow with Ghana's Energy Minister Joe Oteng-Adjei. "We will start drilling two more wells in May," said GNPC's head Nana Asafu-Adjaye.

 

Reserves at the field have not yet been determined, but Timoshenko said that for the operation to be profitable it would need between 150 and 250 million barrels of oil.

 

"Around 150-250 million barrels is a good number to begin development," he said, adding that Lukoil Overseas, which has a 56.6 percent share in the venture, is interested in participating in other oil projects in Ghana.

 

"We will continue to look into practically any opportunity to participate in new projects in Ghana," Timoshenko said. New African Oil Ghana will join the club of oil-producing nations this year when it starts producing its first offshore field, Jubilee, which the country says holds reserves of around 1.6 billion barrels.

 

"Production could reach 120,000 barrels of oil per day in phase one and that amount will double in phase two ... expected around 2014-2015," said Asafu-Adjaye said on the sidelines of the Moscow press conference.

 

Earlier, GNPC had said production would double to 250,000 bpd by 2013, squeezing Ghana into the list of the world's top 50 producers. Aside from the state-owned Ghanaian National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), major players in Jubilee include UK-listed operator Tullow Oil Plc, U.S.-producer Anadarko Petroleum and privately held U.S. energy firm Kosmos.

In August, Kosmos cancelled the sale of its 30.875 percent stake in the West Cape Three Points block and 18 percent share in the Deepwater Tano to ExxonMobil, a deal Ghana said was in breach of Kosmos' commitments.

 

Since 2006, Lukoil has been implementing a project which encompasses exploration, appraisal, development and extraction of hydrocarbons at the Cape Three Points Deep Water block in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea.

 

Last February, after the drilling of the first exploratory well at the Dzata structure, a major hydrocarbon field was discovered. The cumulative project-related investments came to about $200 million, and the same amount is to be invested over the next 2 years.

 

At present, seismic data is being interpreted, at the same time an appraisal program is being developed. It will provide for the drilling of exploratory and appraisal wells at a number of structures of the CTPDW block, including Dzata, in 2011-2012. The depth of all the wells will be about 1,900 meters.

 

Lukoil is also considering new investment opportunities in the republic of Ghana. According to the official document, Lukoil will also organize studies for students at Russian oil and gas educational institutions at the request of Ghana's Ministry of Energy. The first stage of the program will last for 5 years, starting in 2011. During this period, 50 students will complete their training, and then will be engaged in Lukoil projects in Ghana.

 

Upon completion of the first stage of the program, the parties will consider the possibility of a 5-year extension of the program that would follow the same terms. Lukoil will be responsible for all organizational and financial issues related to the students’ studies during the entire training period (visa and transport support, accommodation costs, scholarships, etc.).

 

The agenda of the visit by the Ghanaian delegation included a trip to the offshore production platform located at Yu. Korchagin field, developed by Lukoil in the Russian sector of the Caspian sea, the Astrakhan hydro power station (Lukoil-Astrakhanenergo) and also to the scientific-and- production center Bios, responsible for a number of environmental programs supported by Lukoil, among them increasing the population of the Caspian sturgeon. (Buziness Africa)

 

 
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