By John Mac Tontoh
Ghana has mapped out nine (9) oil blocks in its offshore western Basin, of which six (6) will be allocated in the next 12-18 months.
The country will, for the first time, allocate blocks through open public competitive tender. That historic licencing sale will involve only three blocks.
The government wants to allocate another two blocks through direct negotiations and reserve one (1) for the state hydrocarbon company Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), to explore in partnership with its chosen strategic partner with the view to developing its technical capacity and becoming an Operator.
In order to progress the proposed lease sale, Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister, inaugurated a Licensing Rounds Bids Evaluation and Negotiation Committee last May.
Ghana is proposing the bid round for the last quarter of 2018.
The country had, hitherto, allocated oil blocks only through direct negotiations.
The 2016 Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, however, encourages a regular transparent, open auction of hydrocarbon acreages.
“Preparations for allocating more oil blocks in accordance with the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act (Act 919) has been put in motion”, Boakye Agyarko, the Minister of Energy, said at the launch of the Committee
“The remaining three (3) that will not be allocated this year, will form the basis of our second bidding round next year later. We are determined to identity further prospects in the Eastern, Central and the onshore Voltain Basins, to increase the number of blocks available for allocation”, the Minister highlighted.
“This will put to test all the allocation mechanisms prescribed by the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act (Act 919) in order to examine the efficacy of these mechanisms and to address any challenges that may emerge in the application of the law”.