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15.03.2006 Business & Finance

Nine companies in oil business

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Accra, March 15, GNA - Professor Michael Oquaye, Energy Minister, on Wednesday said nine international oil companies have various commitments to operate in Ghana with three of these companies actively undertaking explorations in the basins.

He said the three companies were, an American company, Devon Energy Ghana Limited, operating in the deepwater Keta basin, Vanco Ghana Limited, operating in the deepwater Tano-Cape Three Points and Kosmos Energy and the E.O. Group, whose areas covers both the shallow and deepwater-Western Cape Three Points.

Prof. Oquaye, responding to a question in Parliament, said oil and gas discoveries have been made in Ghana as far back as 1973.

"However, these were marginal and for that reason, they were not developed. Recent exploration work has however revealed large prospects that are yet to be tested by drilling. If these prospects should prove to be successful, then Ghana can become a major oil producing country."

"The fact that the companies are prepared to commit such substantial capital to prospect and drill in Ghana, supports the conviction that, there are high quality prospect in Ghana," the minister added in answer to a question on the progress of oil exploration in the country and the prospects.

The Energy Minister said Devon Energy had "firmed up three prospects that are ready for drilling. These prospects may contain about 618 million barrels of oil."

"Kosmos had also completed interpretation in their West Cape Three Points acreage with their magohany prospect that can contain between 420 million barrels of oil to one billion barrels also ready for drilling," Prof Oquaye said.

He said Vanco Energy Limited had also identified prospects ready for drilling which could also yield much barrels of oil.

"Five other applicants are also chasing prospects that range from 200 million barrels to 800 million barrels of oil."

"All these reserves are huge by all standards; the main limiting factor currently is the availability of drilling rigs, especially in the deepwater," the minister said.