ONGC keen to grab a share in Ghana`s Jubilee oilfield

Last Updated: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 18:37

New Delhi: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp
(ONGC) is interested in acquiring a stake in Ghana`s giant
Jubilee oilfield, but the African nation has exercised its
first right of refusal on the stake sale.

"Lot of companies are interested in buying Jubilee stake.
I`m sure ONGC is one of them," Ghana`s deputy energy minister
Emmanuel Armah-Kohi Buah told reporters here today.
Closely held US firm Kosmos Energy LLC said on October 12
it agreed to sell its Ghanaian assets, including its stake in
Jubilee, to US oil behemoth ExxonMobil for USD 4 billion.

The minister said Ghana National Petroleum Corp (GNPC)
had the first right of refusal in case of exit of any partner
in the Jubilee field. GNPC has since exercised the right.

GNPC will want to first acquire the stake in Jubilee from
Kosmos and then look at selling it to those interested,
including ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the state-run firm
ONGC, he said.

"Kosmos violated the agreement by talking to others (for
the stake sale) without talking to GNPC," he said.

GNPC, Buah said, was still in talks with Kosmos on buying
the assets itself and would consider proposals from potential
partners once the sale was complete.

Kosmos, which is backed by private equity groups
Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus, has 30.875 per cent stake
in Jubilee`s West Cape Three Points block and an 18 per cent
stake in the deep-water Tano block.
Tullow Oil of UK holds 34.7 per cent interest in Jubilee.
US independent Anadarko Petroleum controls 23.49 per cent,
GNPC holds 13.75 per cent, Sabre Oil & Gas owns 2.81 per cent
and EO Group has 1.75 per cent.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) has reportedly
already made an offer to the Ghanaian government to jointly
bid for a stake in the offshore Jubilee field.

Sinopec, represented by Neil Bush, the younger brother of
former US President George W Bush, recently made an offer to
GNPC to form a joint bid for a stake in the Jubilee field.

GNPC officials rejected the initial offer and are waiting
to hear from all potential partners before making a decision.

ONGC has hired Citigroup to advise it on a bid for Kosmos
Energy`s stake in the Jubilee oilfield off Ghana. China
national Offshore Oil Corp Ltd (CNOOC Ltd) has hired Goldman
Sachs to advise it on its bid for the stake.

The minister said there was also a dispute over the
extent to which technical information about the Jubilee field
can be passed on to other companies.

He said the field would produce 120,000 barrels a day by
December 2010.

The field was discovered in June 2007 and has potential
resources of as many as 1.8 billion barrels, according to UK
explorer Tullow Oil, its operator.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 18:37

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