30.07.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana, Lushan, GNPC sign oil production agreement

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Accra, July 30, GNA- Ghana and Lushan Eternit Energy Limited on Friday regularised a contractual arrangement that would streamline the operation of Lushan in the Saltpond oil fields in the Central Region. It would also enable them to attract the needed investment to revamp production from the field. The Agreement would pave the way for the judicious exploitation of the Saltpond Field and provide for the decommissioning of the field and platform "Mr Louie".

The agreement was signed by Mr H.T. Hammond, Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Quincy K. Sintim Aboagye for Lushan International Energy and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in Accra.

Briefing journalists after the signing, Mr Aboagye said it was the first time that a group of Africans had come together to explore crude oil without foreign assistance or involvement.

"It is a reflection and an opportunity for Ghanaians in the Diaspora and all others to take advantage of the new economic situation that seeks to create a Golden Age of Business for all."

The agreement is for 20 years and has already seen Lushan Eternit Energy Limited investing more than 10 million dollars and increased the current production of 500 barrels per day (on test basis) to about 1,200 barrels per day.

"Currently we have just one well out of the six which are operational. When we re-tube the other wells and put them back into operation we hope to increase the 500-barrel production to between 1,200 and 1,500 barrels per day," Mr Aboagye said.

He mentioned a gas potential that when utilised could produce an additional 50 megawatts of power.

He said the future goal of the company is to drill more wells and increase production.

The Saltpond Field located about 12 kilometres offshore Saltpond was discovered in 1970 by Signal/Amoco Group and developed in 1978 by Agripetco.

Production started at 4,800 barrels per day but by 1985 it had dwindled to 580 barrels per day resulting in the field being shut. In 2000 GNPC entered into a sub-contract and joint venture agreement with Lushan Eternit Energy to redevelop the field.

Mr E. Quaye-Foli, Director of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy, said the current petroleum agreement makes the Ghana government a party to the Agreement as enshrined in the Exploration and Production Law, PNDCL 84, and offers better terms to the state than before.

The present terms provide royalty of three per cent, which was not in the previous agreement.

Lushan Eternit is the Ghanaian subsidiary of Lushan International Energy Corporation of Houston Texas. Lushan International Energy Corporation is primarily engaged in the development and production of marginal oil and gas fields and operates from Nigeria. 30 July 04

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