Business News of Thursday, 14 June 2007
Ghana is one of several African countries with new oil and gas potential.
Some international oil companies late Wednesday showcased new hydrocarbon deposits in some African countries, describing them as "viable attractions".
The companies exhibited the deposits and made presentations at the 5th West and Central Africa Oil and Gas 2007 exhibition event.Some of the countries with the new oil and gas potential are Mali, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Congo, Uganda, Mozambique and Madagascar. Senior Vice President in charge of Exploration and Business Development for the US-based Vanco Energy Company, Jeff Mitchell, who spoke at the forum, said: "We have acquired deepwater oil and gas acreage for exploration and exploitation in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana". He said most of the basins have been evaluated using the latest seismic and geo-chemical techniques, which have proven their potential reserves. Mitchell disclosed that exploration deals have so far been struck in the two countries, including Uganda and other countries. He also said that the new deposits, which is mostly made up of gas are found both onshore and offshore. An official of London-based Tullow Oil Plc., Tim O'Hanlon, said the company, which is one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration outfits in Europe, has invested in some African countries with new hydrocarbon deposits. "Tullow has 120 licences in 22 countries, with operations in the UK Southern North Sea, Africa and South Asia," O'Hanlon, who is the company's Vice President in charge of African business told the participants. He also revealed that in January 2007, Tullow completed the 595 million pounds acquisition of Hardman Resources Limited, which materially enhances the Group's operations in Mauritania and Uganda. Meanwhile, Nigeria currently the highest crude oil producer in Africa had recently overtook Saudi Arabia as the US third leading supplier, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The African producer leaped from fifth place in February to third in March, pushing the world's top exporter into fourth place, the data showed. Canada and Mexico held on to first and second places, with crude exports to the US of 1.776-million barrels per day (bpd), down 64,000 bpd from February and 1.621-million bpd, about 263,000 bpd up from February.