Ghana has yet again discovered large deposits of oil ready for commercial exploration. In what is a major oil discovery, the Norwegian company Aker Energy ASA announced on January 10, 2019 that based on existing subsurface data from seismic, wells drilled and an analysis of the Pecan-4A well result, the existing discoveries are estimated to contain gross contingent resources (2C) of 450 – 550 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).
Aker Energy estimates that with the next two appraisal wells to be drilled, the total volumes to be included in a Plan of Development (POD) have the potential to increase to between 1 billion barrels. In addition, there are identified multiple well targets to be drilled as part of a greater area development after submission of the POD..
Originally awarded to Hess in 2006, Hess identified the Pecan discovery in 2012. Between 2012 and 2016 Hess sought, unsuccessfully, to appraise the field and agree on terms with the government of Ghana on a feasible plan of development for the discovery. Hess initial assessment indicated resources of 230 million barrels of oil equivalent.
In 2017, following discussions with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Aker announced its acquisition of Hess’s interest in the DWT/CT License. Aker and its partner working closely in conjunction with the Petroleum Commission and GNPC immediately undertook preparations for an expansive drilling program, with Pecan 4A being the first of three planned wells.
The expansive drilling program with more advanced technology has turned out to be very successful. "We are pleased to announce the well results, confirming our understanding of the area, as well as the resource base and upside potential in the DWT/CTP block. Based on these results, we will optimize the Plan of Development (POD) for the Pecan field to be submitted by the end of March 2019”, says John Arve Haugen, CEO of Aker Energy.
Minister of Energy John Peter Amewu said “multiple government agencies including the Petroleum Commission, GNPC and the Ministries of Energy and Finance have worked closely with the DWT/CT partners to achieve this positive result. Ghana will continue to collaborate with and support Aker Energy and its partners as we jointly work to deliver first oil as quickly as possible and ensure significant value is retained in Ghana for the benefit of our people”.
It is expected that production would begin in 2020. Ghana currently produces 200,000 barrels of oil per day and earns. The Aker discovery will produce an additional 200,000 per day by 2021. Ghana is therefore set to at least double its current earnings from oil exports in the very near future.