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10.03.2009 Business & Finance

More, more oil

By Daily Guide

Tullow Oil Plc has made a further discovery in Ghana, sending its shares to the biggest gain in three months. The UK explorer also raised $2 billion in loans to fund developments and refinance debt.

The London-based company plans to invest about $3.1 billion in developing the Jubilee Field and start pumping oil there in 2010. Tullow is targeting about 4 billion barrels of oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Guinea off Ghana and Ivory Coast.

“Tullow now has ample funds at its disposal to bring Jubilee, its offshore Ghana discovery, through the development phase into production,” Gerry Hennigan, an analyst with Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin, said in a report.

Tullow gained as much as 13 percent in Londontrading, the biggest intraday gain since December 11. The shares were 44 pence higher at 779 pence as of 10:05 a.m. local time.

The new loan is split between a Senior Facility of $1.785 billion, a Junior Facility of $100 million and $115 million from the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private sector lending arm, with a final maturity of December 2015, Tullow said in a statement.

The margin on the Senior and IFC facilities, depending on the level drawn, is up to 3.75 percentage points over the dollar London interbank offered rate.

The loans have been provided by BNP Paribas SA, Royal bank of Scotland Group Plc, Barclays Plc, Caylon, ING Bank NV, Lloyds TSB Bank Plc, Natixis SA, NIBC Bank NV, Societe General SA, Standard Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Plc, Sumitomo Mitsui banking Corporation and Bank of Scotland Plc, the oil explorer said.

Separately, Tullow said it “discovered a significant highly-pressured light hydrocarbon accumulation” in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana.

The Tweneboa-1 well was drilled to a depth of 3,593 metres (11, 800 feet) and is currently being drilled deeper “to further assess the discovery and the up-dip limit of a potential deeper fan system.”

The discovery marks a “considerable success,” Job Langbroek, an analyst at Dublin-based Davy Stockbrockers, said in a research note. “The well could have a material impact on the exploration programme in the offshore Ghanaian blocks as the next well could be a follow-on to Tweneboa.”

Kosmos Energy LLC, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, also hold stakes in the Deepwater Tano licence.

Source: Bloomberg