The bid deadline for private equity-backed Kosmos Energy’s Ghanaian oil interests has been extended from Friday and another date will be announced within the next 30 days, two sources familiar with the matter said.
A potential sale of the stake, in the Jubilee Field in Ghana’s deep waters, is being closely watched as the asset is one of the largest oil finds in West Africa in the past decade.
Predicted to hold 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, the entire field is valued at $15 billion and analysts have said the stake could be valued at $3 billion to $5 billion.
The deadline extension gives bidders extra time to digest major developments over the past week. Kosmos Energy secured a $750 million loan facility to fund development of the discoveries this week. It also gained approval from the Ghanaian government for a phase-one plan of development for the field.
Any bid would need to be vetted by the Ghanaian government. Extending the deadline will lengthen the auction process, but should shorten the time between signing and closing the deal, the sources said. It allows the Ghanaian government to be more involved in the auction before a winner is picked.
The sources declined to be named because the discussions have not been made public.
Kosmos Energy has been considering selling its stake in the large Jubilee oil field offshore Ghana for several months, sources have previously told Reuters. Other options that remain under consideration include an initial public offering, the sources said.
Bidders could include global energy players BP Plc, Shell Oil, Exxon Mobil Corp and Italy’s ENI SpA and China’s CNOOC Ltd.
Kosmos Energy holds a 23.5 percent interest in Jubilee. Tullow Oil plc has a 34.7 percent stake and Anadarko Petroleum Corp has 23.5 percent.
Kosmos is backed by private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Blackstone Group LP, which invested $300 million in 2004 and led an additional $500 million funding in 2008.