GHANA -- Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC) and governmental authorities have awarded Aker a major oil and gas deepwater production license in the Gulf of Guinea, offshore the Republic of Ghana. The organization selected Aker as operator of the offshore exploration area South Deepwater Tano. The award has been sanctioned by the Ghanian parliament.
Aker will hold an 85% interest of the exploration phase at South Deepwater Tano. GNPC and the government of Ghana will own 10%, and Aker local partner Chemu Power will hold a 5% stake. If the license is determined to hold a commercially viable field, the GNPC and the government stake can be increased to 25%.
The Tano exploration area covers 3,500 sq km (1,351 sq mi). Water depths in the area range from 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,561 to 9,842 ft). South Deepwater Tano is located further offshore and at greater water depths than the Jubilee field offshore Ghana, but shares much of the same geology, the company says.
Aker will invest $25 million to $30 million in the seismic survey and data interpretation of the area, with the seismic program beginning in 1Q 2009. Drilling of the first exploration well at South Deepwater Tano is scheduled for 2011. Aker is considering taking on other license partners for the project.