Aker Energy has six weeks to submit a plan of development for its Pecan project, offshore Ghana, while facing challenges over Russian Lukoil’s involvement.
The company’s Aker Energy subsidiary is working on the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) licence offshore Ghana. It has a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study completed on the Pecan development. It also has a revised plan of development, it said in its results presentation.
Russia’s Lukoil has a 38% stake in DWT/CTP.
Aker said that as a “consequence of the uncertainties arising” from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the plan will not be submitted until the “challenges have been resolved”.
Lukoil is sanctioned by the US government over Russia’s invasion. However, Aker said, these restrictions do not apply to the Ghanaian project because the work began before January 29, 2018.
“Aker Energy will comply with all Norwegian and international sanctions applicable for Aker Energy and the DWT/CTP block in Ghana,” it said.
Eriksen told Reuters the company was in dialogue with Lukoil and the Ghanaian authorities “about possible solutions”. The executive went on to tell Reuters that one option would be for Lukoil to sell out of the project.
Norway has set out restrictions on the provision of services in the oil industry as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, but most of these seem to focus on operations in Russia.
Aker Energy has until September 30 this year to submit the new plan.
Aker has a 50.8% stake in Aker Energy. Kjell Inge Røkke’s TRG owns the remaining 49.2%.
Lukoil’s chairman Vagit Alekperov stepped down in April this year as he was named in various sanctions. Alekperov said he had taken the decision in order to prevent sanctions from interfering with Lukoil’s activities.
While Aker Energy has cited concerns over Lukoil’s presence in the block, development has been slow moving. The Norwegian company’s first plan for DWT/CTP, in early 2019, had covered all the block’s resources. This concept met resistance from Ghana for its overly ambitious scope.
Other companies continue to be open to working with Lukoil. Eni announced floating LNG plans in Congo Brazzaville recently with a focus on Marine XII, where Lukoil has a 25% stake.