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Ghana, Kosmos in talks over Jubilee stake

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Ghana and Kosmos Energy are in talks over the sale of the Texas-based oil company’s stake in the country’s largest oil field, the Jubilee oil field, the AFP has reported.

The Jubilee oil field according to the major stakeholders, Tullow Oil, has 1.8 billion barrels of oil and has 17 wells. It is the largest to be discovered in West Africa in the last 10 to 15 years.

According to the report the talks are expected to lead to a compromise, the Deputy Minister of Energy for Ghana was quoted as saying.
Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah said to the AFP, “We have been engaged in various mutual discussions with Kosmos and we expect to reach a compromise that would be beneficial to the two parties.”

Kosmos Energy is one of the foreign oil companies with stakes in the Jubilee oil field, the others are Tullow Oil, Anadarko Petroleum and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

When Kosmos Energy offered to sell its stake several oil companies showed interest in buying it. But Kosmos decided unilaterally, against the terms of agreement between the parties to sell to its Texas neighbour ExxonMobil.

The Ghana government which was to approve deal, did not on the premise that Kosmos acted illegally by secretly opening its data room to ExxonMobil. Kosmos has subsequently apologized to the Ghana government.

Ghana has however decided to buy the stake, with financial support from some banks. And recently, the South Korean national oil company had expressed interest in partnering with Ghana to acquire the stake.

Meanwhile, Kosmos Energy was reported by the AFP to have rescinded its decision to sell, indicating that it will stay in Ghana and pursue oil production. Commercial production of oil in Ghana is due in the latter part of this year. This has however been denied by a Kosmos official. The official, Jim McCarthy was quoted by the AFP as saying “Kosmos has made no such decision,” dismissing the information as “entirely wrong”.

It is yet to be seen if this negotiations would lead to a compromise as expected.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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