The Ministry of Energy has said the Licensing Round Committee on December 21 opened applications for prequalification received from interested companies who submitted Expression of Interest (EoI) for the competitive bidding for three Blocks in the Western Basin.
Overall, sixteen high calibre companies with proven track records submitted a total of sixty applications.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency from the Ministry of Energy said two of the applications were invalidated because they were for Blocks been reserved for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
In line with this, it said, 58 valid applications would be considered for the next stage of the process.
Companies which expressed interest include: Tullow Oil, Total, Eni, Caien, Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation , Exxonmobil, Cnooc, Qatar Petroleum and BP.
The rest are Vitol, Global Petroleum Group, Aker Energy, First E&P, Kosmos, Sasol and Equinor.
It said the number of applications received showed a high level of interest by international companies in the country’s basins.
The statement quoted Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of Petroleum, as saying “the high level of interest shown by major international oil companies in our first licensing round is a vote of confidence in the Ghanaian economy under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.”
“Government is determined to use a transparent process as specified by law to shortlist companies that have the capacity and will qualify based on prescribed criteria”.
The statement assured interested parties that whoever was selected would be a true partner to the country.
It said Mr Lawrence Apaalse, Chairman of the Licensing Round Committee, said “we will collaborate and partner with them to explore and exploit the resource for our mutual benefit and most importantly the benefit of the Ghanaian people”.
The statement said the exercise was also observed by the Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIC), which convenes civil society organizations working in the oil and gas sector.