Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) has started up Jubilee South East (JSE), offshore Ghana. This sets the stage for the Jubilee project to reach more than 100,000 barrels per day of production.
One JSE production well is now online with a second expected onstream this month. A third production well, and a water injection well, are expected to start later this year.
Operator Tullow’s CEO, Rahul Dhir, said the start up at Jubilee South East was a “significant milestone” for the company and the country. “Through our strong project management and operating capability, we have delivered a complex offshore development which is one of the key catalysts to unlock value for our business.”
The project will allow the company to achieve “material deleveraging as we continue our transition into a low-debt business with the financial flexibility to pursue value accretive opportunities”.
Tullow said the consortium had invested around $1 billion in the JSE project over the last three years. Local companies carried out the majority of the offshore infrastructure work, it said. More than 90% of the workforce was local.
On the rise
The Jubilee field averaged 80,800 bpd in the fourth quarter of 2022. It fell in the first quarter of reduced water injection. Kosmos Energy (LON:KOS) reported previously that JSE would increase Jubilee to more than 110,000 bpd by the end of 2023.
The start up won approval from the government. Minister of Energy Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the ministry was “delighted” with the start.
“The approval of the Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan by the Ministry in October 2017 paved the way for investment in the development of the JSE project, which has now culminated in the delivery of the First Oil from the JSE area. The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will continue to work with all our strategic partners with a view to leveraging our God-given resources for the ultimate benefit of our people.”
Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC) and PetroSA also have stakes in the field.
A ceremony to mark the start up will be held in the third quarter of the year.
Kosmos said the group would maintain production at the project over the next few years through an infill drilling programme. There are “multiple” such locations, with the partnership working on high grading these.
Kosmos chairman and CEO Andy Inglis said JSE was the first of three major growth projects for the US-based company.
“This catalyst represents the inflection point of rising production and lower capital that we expect will flow through 2H23 into 2024. We believe Jubilee has the potential to deliver in excess of a billion barrels of oil equivalent gross, generating material value for the people of Ghana, the partnership and our investors.”
Tullow drilled two of the three wells at the end of 2022, with the third in January 2023. Kosmos said the results from the wells were above expectations and they had penetrated additional reservoirs.
There were signs the primary horizons connect to the main Jubilee field. This should support higher recovery from the field in the future.