Ghana will open its first oil exploration licensing round in the last quarter of this year, offering about six offshore blocks, Deputy Energy Minister Mohamed Amin Adam told Reuters on Wednesday (April 11).
“We have asked them to wait for our first bidding round which is scheduled for the last quarter of this year,” said Adam, adding that Ghana will put up another six offshore blocks for auction next year.
Last year, the West African country’s economy expanded at the fastest rate in five years on the back of a surge in oil and gas production. It increased 80.4 percent, according to a provisional estimate by the nation’s statics office.
“Oil and gas is the key driver of the growth,” government statistician Baah Wadieh told reporters.
Ghana’s current oil output is about 200,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), with most production coming from its Jubilee field at 100,000 bpd. The offshore field, currently operated by Tullow Oil (LSE:TLW), began producing oil in 2010.
Oil production in the country also comes from the TEN field and reserves, which are operated by Italy’s Eni (BIT:ENI) and came on stream last year.
That said, some analysts believe Ghana is ready to expand its oil production even further. Imad Mesdoua, senior analyst consultant for Africa Control Risks, told CNBC that the West African country is “about to have an oil boom.”
“This will primarily be driven by rising oil prices, expanding production and new deals which are likely to come online in the coming six months,” Mesdoua said.
Looking ahead, Ghana is also set to launch a program to attract investments into refineries, Adam said. The African country’s only oil refinery, Tema Oil, processes about 25,000 bpd of fail, far below its capacity.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.