Ghana na­tional oil firm Seeks $1bn to be­come in­de­pen­dent op­er­a­tor

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

Ghana Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (GNPC) is seek­ing $1 bil­lion to fund its plan to be­come an in­de­pen­dent op­er­a­tor in seven years and will also seek to build an oil trad­ing desk with its part­ner Unipec, chief ex­ec­u­tive Alex Mould said.

“We think $1 bil­lion is a good start and I think we’ll get there. This $1 bil­lion is go­ing to be used for many things. We’re look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties and the best is to go into ex­plo­ration, do more ap­praisal work,” Mould told Reuters.

GNPC is work­ing with the govern­ment on fund­ing and look­ing for “ef­fi­cient cap­i­tal­iza­tion”, Mould said, but he gave no fur­ther de­tails as to how the money would be raised.

Pro­duc­tion from Ghana’s main field Ju­bilee, op­er­ated by Tul­low, is ex­pected to hit 110,000 bar­rels per day in 2014.

Unipec, which al­ready mar­kets some of Ghana’s oil, is a whol­ly­owned sub­sidiary of China’s Sinopec..

“We have an ac­cel­er­ated growth strat­egy to be­come an in­de­pen­dent op­er­a­tor in seven years and a world class op­er­a­tor in 15 years,” Mould said on Wed­nes­day. “GNPC’s goal is that if we de­velop our ca­pa­bil­ity we must as well start us­ing our own re­sources in look­ing else­where out­side Ghana for po­ten­tial hy­dro­car­bon re­sources that we can ex­plore to­gether with the coun­tries in­volved,” he said. Few African oil pro­duc­ers mar­ket and trade their own crude be­cause it in­volves sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal chal­lenges. The ones that do are well-es­tab­lished pro­duc­ers, said oil ex­pert Va­lerie Mar­cel of the Chatham House think tank. Ghana dis­cov­ered oil off­shore in 2007 and be­gan pro­duc­ing in De­cem­ber 2010.

Mould said that Ghana, which also ex­ports co­coa and gold, would have a sus­tained to­tal crude out­put of above 200,000 bar­rels per day by late 2016 af­ter the full de­vel­op­ment of Ju­bilee and the com­ing on stream of ad­join­ing fields cur­rently un­der ex­plo­ration.

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