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Business News of Monday, 28 June 1999

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Three companies raise hope for oil discovery

Tema (Greater Accra), 28th June 99 - Oil exploration agreements between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and some international oil exploration companies are beginning to yield positive results, according to the 1998 annual reports of three of the international companies.

Santa Fe Energy Resources and Nuevo Energy Company of USA and Dana Petroleum of U.K. in their reports said that there are high prospects for Ghana to recover hydrocarbons.

The Santa Fe Energy Resources' report noted that success in four major development projects and high exploration prospects together presents continued growth through the coming years.

It described exploration in the Keta Block as "exciting with several significant numbers of prospects identified in the shallow water, and a high risk, but very high prospect in deep water."

The report, which also covered the company's activities in other West African countries said in Gabon, production commenced in January 1998.

It said three field discoveries made at Tchatamba West and East Orovinyare and Tchatamba south in 1997, will come to the stream over the next several years, with that of the South commencing production in mid-1999.

The company also drilled two unsuccessful wells in Cote D'Ivoire.

The report of Nuevo Energy described West Africa as one of the world's premier exploration regions and said the company is currently the operator of 4.4 million acres located in the East Cape Three Points Block and the Accra-Keta Block offshore of Ghana.

It pointed out that the region holds the potential for large reserves adding that in 1998, "we drilled our first exploratory well offshore in Ghana in our East Cape Three Points Block, and the well was our high-risk exploration well in that year".

While the well did not contain commercial quantities of hydrocarbons, we gained valuable information.

In the case of Dana Petroleum, the Chief Executive, Mr Tom Cross, in his report said a seismic survey has been planned for offshore Ghana, pointing out that the chances of a major oil find being made are considered high.

Mr Cross noted that the big excitement "for us is what we are doing in Ghana, because we see that the good potentials are there".