General News of Mon, 18 Jun 2007155

Ghana strikes oil in commercial quantities

... at the West Cape Three Points Area
Accra, June 18, GNA - Kosmos Energy; Anadarko Petroleum and Tullow Ghana Limited , consortium engaged in oil exploration, on Monday simultaneously announced the discovery of oil in commercial quantities west of Cape Three Points, offshore Republic of Ghana.

Kosmos made the announcement in Accra, while Tullow and Anadarko made theirs in London and New York, respectively.

Mr James C. Mussleman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kosmos Energy, an American Oil Exploration Company, told President John Agyekum Kufuor at the Castle, Osu: "We are pleased that the first well in our multi-well West Africa exploration drilling programme is a success."

The high quality oil was struck 40 miles deep into the sea in the west of Cape Three Points, near Axim, Mr Mussleman did not give figures of the exact quantity in the reserve, discovered after drilling 312 feet of the seabed, as they were still engaged in the process of developing the natural resource. He said Kosmos, which has signed a seven-year exploration agreement with Ghana was looking forward to working with the Government and people of the country to develop the resource.

Mr Mussleman said he was aware of the high expectations of Ghanaians and asked that they should give the Company time to carry out the operation.

President Kufuor expressed appreciation to God about the discovery and said the news should embolden and encourage all Ghanaians to be optimistic about the country's future as the prospects were bright. He challenged Kosmos, the very Company that found oil in Equatorial Guinea and after the discovery was able to extract the resource in no time, to break its own record by moving quickly to develop Ghana's reserve to make the country, which has been grappling with energy problems to become an oil producer.

"We pray that the Company would be successful so that our country would not become a beggar in the energy sector anymore." The Government, he said, has since 2001 been making efforts to address the problem of energy and that consistent with this vision, the Board of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which was then a general purposes entity was reconstituted.

President Kufuor said the discovery was a vindication of the good decision of ensuring that the GNPC concentrated on its core business operation.

In London, Mr Aiden Heavey, Chief Executive Officer of Tullow said: "The discovery of oil in the Mahogany Well-1 represents a major event for the Republic of Ghana and for Tullow. Based on the evidence to date, ultimate resources are likely to be materially in excess of previous estimates."

Mr Heavey put the present estimates at between 300 million barrels and 400 million barrels.

In New York Mr Bob Daniels, Anadarko's, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Exploration, said: "This is an exciting start to our 2007 exploration programme offshore West Africa."

He said to date the well has been drilled to a depth of approximately 12,083 feet and is planned to reach a total depth of 13,780 feet, adding that once the well reached the target depth it would be suspended for evaluation and appraisal.

Kosmos Energy, the block operator and Anadarko, technical operator, hold 30.875 per cent of the shares each; Tullow has 22.896 per cent; Sabre Oil and Gas Limited has 1.854 per cent and E.O. Group, a Ghanaian oil and gas company, holds 3.5 per cent of the shares in the Block. The Minister of Energy, Mr Joseph Adda on Sunday led a team from Kosmos; GNPC and Journalists to the oil rig at deep sea, near Cape Three Points to ascertain the progress being made after three weeks of exploration.

There are 126 crew members including 16 Ghanaians on board the USA Bedford Dolphin Drilling Ship undertaking the exploration exercise. Mr Adda and his entourage returned from the rig with a sample of the oil in a bottle as evidence.

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Source: GNA

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