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Business News of Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Source: Bloomberg

Ghana May Buy Kosmos’s Stake in Jubilee Oil Field

Ghana National Petroleum Corp., the state-owned company that oversees the country’s nascent oil and gas industry, may buy Kosmos Energy LLC’s stake in the $3.1 billion Jubilee oil field.

“If they sell, the national oil company will buy their stake,” Deputy Energy Minister Kwabena Donkor said in an interview in Cape Town today.

Kosmos, a closely held company based in Dallas, owns about 30 percent of the Tullow Oil Plc-led venture that manages the field’s development. Barclays Plc and Standard Chartered Plc were appointed to auction Kosmos’s holding, the Sunday Times reported May 11, without saying where it got the information.

The West African nation, which expects to produce about 500,000 barrels of oil a day by 2014, hasn’t completed Jubilee’s development plan because it is still in talks with partners, Donkor said.

Ghana is set to become one of Africa’s newest oil exporters in late 2010 when production begins at the offshore Jubilee field, which was discovered in June 2007 and has potential resources of as much as 1.8 billion barrels, according to Tullow.

The partners in Jubilee, which also include Anadarko Petroleum Corp., have “legal rights to preempt” any deal for Kosmos’ stake, Tullow Chief Executive Officer Aidan Heavey said May 12. He declined to say if Tullow plans to increase its stake in the project, saying any decision will depend on the offer value.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is looking at opportunities in Ghana, Regional Vice President for Exploration and Production in Africa, Babs Omotowa, said in an interview in Cape Town today. He declined to be more specific. Dow Jones reported on June 18 that Shell may buy Kosmos’ stake in Jubilee.

Ghana on June 30 said it hired Morgan Stanley to advise on some offshore oil and gas deposits, without giving more information.