Qualified bidders for oil blocks out on January 21

The government is to announce the oil companies that have qualified to bid for the five oil blocks being offered for exploration in the Western Region on January 21.

According to the Minister of Energy, Mr John Peter Amewu, a team of experts were currently evaluating the 58 prequalification applications received from 16 companies.

At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, he said submission of bids would be opened and closed on May 21 with the blocks awarded to the successful bidders in August this year.

Subject to the new Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016, (Act 919), six offshore  oil blocks in the Cape Three points , are being offered for exploration in the country’s first  ever oil and gas licensing round.

Three of the blocks have been offered on competitive bidding; two for direct negotiation while one has been reserved for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

The process began October last year with the applications opened in December.

According to Mr Amewu, the 16 companies that submitted the applications included ExxonMobil, British Petroleum,Tullow Ghana Limited, Total, ENI Ghana, Vitol, Kosmos Energy and Aker Energy.

The rest are China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Cairn Energy, Qatar Petroleum, Global Petroleum Group, First E&P, Sasol, Equinor and Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation.

He disclosed that out of the 58 applications received, 43 were for competitive bidding and 15 for direct negotiation while two more applications which would have made the total 60, were invalidated.

This , he said was because the two companies; CNOOC and Global Oil  and gas,  expressed interest in the block reserved for GNPC but stated that they could hold discussion  with the company for possible collaboration .

The calibre of companies that have shown interest, Mr Amewu said, was indicative of the confidence the global community had in the country and pledged that due diligence would be done in the award of the blocks.

He said the ministry would ensure that that there was five per cent equity participation expected of indigenous Ghanaian companies in each petroleum agreement.

By Jonathan Donkor


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