In December 2010, crude oil from the Jubilee field was exported for the first time. Since then, production has steadily increased and the Ghana offshore industry has become an important part of the overall economy. After the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire was finally settled in 2017, more exploration and production is expected in the coming months and years.
Tullow Oil, operator of the Jubilee and the TEN fields, has announced that development drilling in both fields will start later this month. These operations have long been planned but were not permitted before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) finally announced a decision about the maritime boundary with Côte d’Ivoire.
The contract for the deep-water drillship “Maersk Venturer” was signed in December 2017. The vessel is under contract for four years and will provide a small boost to the local economy in the region around Takoradi. ‘Local growth and local resource development are key elements in our business activities in Ghana. Maersk Drilling operates with over 50 percent local staff and a wide network of local suppliers,’ says Lars Østergaard, Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk Drilling.
Additional drilling by Tullow Oil, however, is not the only positive story for Ghana offshore oil and gas production. In January, ExxonMobil signed a deal with the Ghanaian government which will lead to exploration in the Deepwater Cape Three Point field which is expected to start later this year. Oil and gas output from the Offshore Cape Three Points block, operated by Eni, is also expected to increase throughout this year after production was started in May 2017.