To make up for lost time and boost production after the ITLOS ruling, Tullow Oil and its partners are considering a second drilling rig for the TEN oil fields, after mobilising the Maersk Venturer rig which commenced drilling earlier in the year.
Two wells, the company said, have already been drilled and that a third is ongoing, with production from the first well expected to commence early in the second half of the year.
The joint venture partners expect to spend over US$500million of capital in Ghana in 2018.
Visiting for Tullow’s investor forum for Ghanaian shareholders, its Group CEO, Paul McDade, told the media in Accra, that the budget could increase if the second rig is brought on board
From April 2015 to September 2018, when it ruled on the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and La Cote D’Ivoire, ITLOS restricted the TEN field to the 11 wells it started up with, against a planned 24 wells.
“One rig, typically, can drill three to five wells a year, if you run it continuously. A second rig just gives you an opportunity to drill more wells,” Tullow Ghana Managing Director, Kweku Awotwi, told the B&FT.
“Oil prices, a year or two ago, were US$50.00 or even less. Now, oil prices are going up and economic conditions are also improving. And so, it is a good time to develop the field,” he said.
Although the company expects 2018 gross oil production from the TEN fields, which has a full capacity of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd), to average 64,000 bopd, it said earlier in the year that the fields had performed consistently above 70,000 bopd.
Tullow, the operator, has 47.18percent equity in the TEN fields, whilst Kosmos, Anadarko and Petro SA hold 17percent, 17percent and 3.82percent stake respectively. The remaining 15percent is held by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on behalf of the state.
The Group CEO, Paul McDade, informed the press that as a company that has onshore operations elsewhere in Africa, Tullow would be interested in an onshore prospect in Ghana if its team sees the potential.
He made similar comments regarding government’s plan to launch the country’s first oil licensing round, which is expected to offer about six oil blocks.