Global oil producer Shell is keeping a close eye on opportunities within the country’s upstream oil sector for exploitation, B&FT has been told.
This forms part of the company’s strategy to expand its business frontiers within the West Africa sub-region.
On discovering oil in commercial quantities in Ghana few years back, it was rumored that Shell was interested in participating in the country’s oil industry and was initiating moves to be part of the emerging industry.
The country manager of Shell Ghana, Omar Benson, has told the B&FT in an exclusive interview that though the company does not run its business on rumors, it is exploring new market frontiers in the sub-region.
“I don’t know about rumours because I don’t manage companies on rumours. What I can tell you, and it is a fact, is that Shell is interested in new market entries in Ghana and in the rest of West-Africa.
“It has been confirmed that the sub-region has high potential and Shell like any other oil company is indeed targetting opportunities in West Africa -- and Ghana in particular.
“Why Ghana? Because there have been some discoveries in the country and commercial production of oil has started, which has demonstrated that there is oil in Ghana on and offshore.
“It is not like uncertainty. There is oil but is it in sufficient quantity and is it commercially viable? Can you extract it at competitive cost? These are the questions the upstream companies need to address.
“But as far as Shell is concerned, its upstream strategy is to develop aggressively upstream, and part of that strategy is to enter into new markets; so Ghana or neighbouring countries could definitely in the future be one of the market entries of Shell upstream,” he said.
Since December 2010, the Jubilee oil partners have been producing and exporting oil offshore Ghana’s coast, pumping up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from its Jubilee Field -- with production expected to ramp up to 120,000 bopd by mid-year and 250,000 bopd in 2012.
This has underscored the focus of industry players on Ghana, who view the Gulf of Guinea as an increasingly important territory in deepwater oil and gas production.
It is worthy of note that the country’s deepwater offshore blocks have almost all been snapped up, following the July 2007 discovery of the estimated 1.8 billion-barrel Jubilee Field -- with state-run Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) now looking to ultra-deep waters, but more especially onshore at the prospective Voltaian basin; an area covering more than 40 percent of the country’s total land area of 88,811 sq mi (230,020 sq km) for new hydrocarbon deposits.
But Mr. Benson said Shell has not found a good reason to aggressively pursue oil deals in the country.
Source: Business & Financial Times
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