Sankofa oil to flow

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    Ghana wants to see more Turkish companies’ presence as the country opens up to investors in the oil and gas sector in anticipation of the country’s Sankofa field, discovered by Italian energy firm ENI, producing oil by the second half of 2017.

    “Sankofa will come online in the second half of 2017 and first half of 2018 for natural gas,” Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the national oil company of Ghana, Mr Alexander Mould told Anadolu Agency, during the Africa Oil and Power conference where Anadolu Agency is the global communications partner.

    Mr Mould said the field will boost the country’s oil and gas output with total projected oil and gas production of more than 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the end of 2022.

    The Italian company’s subsidiary, Eni Ghana, is the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block’s operator with a 47 per cent stake. Other partners are Swiss-based and Dutch-owned company, Vitol, with a 38 per cent stake and GNPC with a 15 per cent share.

    Working in low oil price time

    Global oil prices decreased from their highest level of $115 per barrel in June 2014 to as low as $28 on January 18, 2016.

    Currently, Brent oil prices are fluctuating at around $50 per barrel.

    With regards to operating in a low oil price environment, Mr Mould said that it is different for international oil companies (IOC) compared to national oil companies (NOC), as, from the IOCs’ perspective, the first thing that is required in such an environment is a reduction in costs.

    “From national oil companies, we have a more long term view. A short term price does not really change our strategy. First of all we have to attract investments, so we have to continue our work on the basins with the data that we have and market the data to the oil marketing companies,” Mr Mould said.

    “But at the same time, we have to work with oil marketing companies to reduce the operating costs in the fields that we are operating in; that would require a systematic discussion with the IOCs’ or the operators on exactly how we can re-negotiate some of the oil services contracts, especially operations and maintenance contracts that we have, especially on floating production, storage and offloading,” he added.

    Mr Mould believes that low oil prices bring more focus to current prospective projects, “You have to be more focused on the basins that you are looking to develop.”

    Ghana is a small oil and natural gas producer in West Africa. Oil and natural gas production are both expected to increase within the next five years with the start of new offshore projects, according to U. S. Energy Information Administration.

    Ghana exports its crude oil production to international markets, while the country’s natural gas production is used to fuel its domestic power plants.

    Turkish companies’ presence

    Turkish companies who actively work in Ghana mainly supply the country’s power needs. Karadeniz Energy Group, the mobile energy terminal of the energy wing of the Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding Company has joined other independent power producers in augmenting state power companies in generating power to satisfy Ghana’s energy needs.

    “Currently we do not have any Turkish companies in the upstream exploration and production area,” Mr Mould said, adding that Turkish companies are working in the power supply sector in the West African country.

    “We would like to see more Turkish companies in Ghana, we are looking for investors to come to Ghana. We have had some conversations with some of the Turkish companies, few of them should be signed up; we are in talks with a few of them in the upstream sector,” Mr Mould added.

    By Huseyin Erdogan, Zeynep Beyza Kilic in Cape Town

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