A consortium of oil companies led by Russia’s second oil major, LUKOIL has announced the discovery of a significant hydrocarbon accumulation in Ghana, making this discovery the latest find of more oil in the country.
In a press statement issued Friday February 26, 2010, LUKOIL said the discovery was made in the Dzata-1 structure of the Cape Three Points Deep Water Block in the Gulf of Guinea offshore the Republic of Ghana.
According to the statement, the total area of the block is about 5,200 square kilometers, while the water depth within the block ranges from 200 meters to 3,000 meters. The Dzata-1 structure lies at a depth of almost 2 kilometers.
It added that the Dzata-1 well, drilled to a depth of some 4.5 kilometers from the sea level, tapped a 94-meter-thick hydrocarbon column containing a 25-meter multilayer oil and gas pay. The primary reservoir sandstone contains gas and light oil.
The consortium is made up of LUKOIL Overseas with 56.66%, US Vanco holding 28.34% and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, (GNPC) with a 15% stake.
Ghana is at the threshold of becoming a significant oil producing country when commercial production of oil begins in the last quarter of 2010.
The country has the largest oil field to be discovered in West Africa in the last 10 to 15 years, the Jubilee oil field has 17 wells, according to Tullow Oil, the major stakeholder in the field. Tullow has also said it will make Ghana one of the top 50 oil producers in the world when production begins.
There is growing interest in Ghana’s nascent oil industry as there are reports of several companies applying to the GNPC to acquire blocks for exploration in the country.
Meanwhile, there are intense discussions about how the oil money will be utilized to avoid what has become known as the oil curse – the case where most African countries that have found oil have not improved economically and poverty has not declined in these countries leading to unrest and violence resulting from misapplication of oil revenue.
In Ghana however, the President, John Atta Mills announced during the State of the Nation address Wednesday February 25, 2010 that he has instructed the Ministry of Finance “to prepare an Oil and Gas Revenue Management Bill which will ensure transparency in management, and will commit the bulk of the oil revenues to a shared growth fund to finance investment in human resources development and other productive infrastructure”.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi