The Ghanaian oil industry has attracted the attention of American oil giant, ExxonMobil as it has signed a deal with the government to acquire exploration and production rights.
The acquisition, which is the first international investment for Ghana, includes the Deepwater Cape Three Points block located off the coast off Ghana, seismic data and analysis.
At the signing, Boakye Agyarko, Ghanaian minister of energy stated that “in this respect, the arrival of ExxonMobil sends a strong positive signal to potential investors around the world that Ghana is truly open for business and has exciting commercial opportunities available in a well-secured maritime environment.”
ExxonMobil will hold 80 percent while Ghana National Petroleum Corporation holds 15 percent interest and also carry out the work program as operator.
ExxonMobil will work with the government to identify a Ghanaian company to potentially hold up to 5 percent interest according to a statement released by oil giant.
“The addition of this block reaffirms ExxonMobil’s commitment to pursuing high-quality projects in areas with large resource potential,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Corporation.
“We are excited to partner with the government of Ghana as we employ our significant upstream experience and technological expertise in assessing the exploration opportunities in this block,” he added.
Since the commercial discovery of oil in 2007, certain issues have plagued the newcomer, the maritime border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast, treatment of foreign exchange and tax issues.
However, Agyarko said ExxonMobil’s presence in Ghana presented opportunities for considerable technology and skills transfer to Ghanaians through the structures provided for in the petroleum agreement.
Also Ghanaian energy analyst Kojo Opoku has praised the new oil deal with Exxonmobil Corp, describing it as the ‘best deal.’
The company is expected to start its exploration activities fully after Ghanaian parliament ratifies the deal.