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Business News Tue, 29 Sep 2009

Italy Eni buys 2 exploration licences in Ghana

Italy's oil and gas major Eni has bought majority stakes in two offshore exploration licences in Ghana making a return to potentially oil-rich African country, Eni said in a statement on Monday.

Under the deal with Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited ( , Eni has acquired 47.22 percent stakes in each of the Offshore Cape Three Points and Offshore Cape Three Points South (OCTPS) exploration licences and has become operator of both licences.

VUGL will have 37.78 percent stakes in each licence. State company Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) will own 15.00 percent stakes in each project and will have a back in option for another 5 percent in OCTP and 10 percent in OCTPS.

Hinting at more deals to come in Ghana, where Eni was present until 1970s, the Italian group said: "Eni's considerable expertise and leading edge technologies will be available to carry out further significant cooperation projects in the country."

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Eni said both blocks lie in the prolific Tano/Cape Three Points oil basin, which has recently yielded some of the biggest offshore discoveries yet made in Africa, the Jubilee field. Analysts say Eni could bid for a stake in the field.

Eni said together with VUGL and GNPC it drilled the Sankofa-1 well in the OCTP block in a water depth of 850 metres this summer and the well encountered high-quality reservoir sands containing 36 metres (net) of oil and gas.

The Sankofa is a significant hydrocarbon discovery located some 35 km east of Jubilee field, it said.

Eni has been present in sub-Saharan Africa since the early 1960s and operates in Angola, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Mozambique. Eni's operated production in the area is around 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Source: Reuters
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