Tullow plans more Ghana wells once maritime-border spat settles

TULLOW Oil says it plans to drill more wells off Ghana once a ruling on a border dispute is out of the way.

Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire disagree over their maritime boundary, frustrating projects to pump oil and gas offshore. In September, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, or Itlos, will rule on the matter, likely clearing the way for an expansion of Tullow’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme project, the company said.

‘We were aware of the dispute before we initiated the overall TEN project,’ Paul McDade, CEO of the London-based producer, said early August. ‘Ourselves and our partners and the Ghana government took some legal advice from various experts globally around the likely outcome,’ he said. ‘We don’t expect any material change.’

Tullow has completed 11 wells at TEN and plans 13 more. It’s preparing to start drilling those ‘around the end of the year,’ McDade told Bloomberg by phone.

It expects the planned wells to boost production capacity at the project to 80,000 bpd, compared with first-half output of 48,000 bpd. It will be ready to award a rig contract after the Itlos ruling, McDade said. ‘The potential for an improving outlook in Ghana as drilling resumes in early 2018 remains key to the investment case,’ James Hosie, an analyst at Barclays in London, said in a note.

Separately, Tullow plans to start drilling a ‘high-impact’ well off Suriname in early October, targeting 500 MMbbl, Exploration Director Angus McCoss told Bloomberg by phone, describing the well as its ‘No. 1’ prospect. Tullow operates the project with a 30 percent stake and expects results in early November.

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