Four companies are due to drill exploration wells in Ghana during the last quarter of this year, according to a government report. The Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) also raised some concerns over tax payments by state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. (GNPC).
PIAC published its semi-annual report this week.
The agency named Amni International Petroleum Development as due to drill the Kusia-1X well in the last quarter of the year, on the Central Tano block. However, the company has pushed this back into 2023 as it seeks a rig, making the second quarter more likely.
OSWT & EK Operating (OPCO) is working on the Mansonia-1X in the same quarter, in the Offshore South-West Tano block.
Eco Atlantic Ghana is due to drill the Dawadawa-1X well, on the Deepwater Cape Three Points West. Meanwhile, Medea Development is planning a required exploration well in the East Cape Three Points block.
Given the increasingly hot rig market, it is unclear whether the other three companies will be able to meet these targets from PIAC.
PIAC also reported that Eni was working on the Aprokuma-1X well, on Cape Three Points block.
GNPC’s Jubilee Oil Holdings Ltd (JOHL) owns a 7% stake in the Jubilee and TEN fields. While the unit is owned by GNPC it did not pay its share of revenues from production into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF). JOHL carried out its first lifting in the first half of this year, receiving $100.7 million for a 944,000 barrel cargo.
PIAC said JOHL’s revenues were part of Ghana’s petroleum revenues and therefore should go to PHF.
The commission also raised concerns about a lack of capital gains tax paid on the sale of the 7% stake in Jubilee and TEN. GNPC bought the stake in 2021 from Anadarko Petroleum, then transferred the 7% to JOHL.
JOHL is not registered in Ghana. According to a local pressure group, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), the GNPC unit is registered in the Cayman Islands.
GNPC is working on another acquisition plan in the offshore. It intends to buy stakes in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) and South Deepwater Tano (SDWT) blocks, operated by Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum Ghana.
ERCE carried out technical due diligence on the assets in May 2022. Now the Bank of America is carrying out economic evaluation, with a particular focus on DWT/CTP.
According to the plan, GNPC’s Explorco unit would hold the stakes and operate the blocks. Explorco had also been due to hold the 7% stakes in Jubilee and TEN.
The PHF received $731.9mn in the first half of 2022, up from $350.3mn in the first half of 2021. Ghana’s budget had forecast earnings of $1.01bn