Ghana moves forward in inaugural open licensing round

In the country’s first open oil exploration licensing round, Ghana has successfully completed the evaluation of all expressions of interest and pre-qualification applications submitted by companies for Blocks 2, 3, and 4, according to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Ghana.

Of the 16 companies reviewed, 14 bids have pre-qualified, one bid was disqualified for failing to meet application requirements, and one bid was invalidated for targeting Block 1, which is reserved for sale by the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

Major bidders include ExxonMobil, British Petroleum, Tullow Ghana Limited, Total, ENI Ghana, Vitol, Kosmos Energy, Aker Energy, and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Others include Cairn Energy, Qata Petroleum, the Global Petroleum Group, First E&P, Sasol, Equinox and the Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation.

The competitive bidding round occurred following the invitation for expression of interest and pre-qualification by the Licensing Round Bid Evaluation and Negotiation (LRBEN) Committee in October, 2018. The LRBEN Committee was inaugurated by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in August for the first ever oil and gas licensing round for a total of six offshore oil blocks in the Cape Three Points enclave in the Western Region.

The implementation of an open tender process is part of a national effort to establish transparency in the management of national petroleum resources and to ensure that companies that exploit the country’s natural resources possess the requisite financial and technical expertise to do so.

Pre-qualified companies have until May 21 to submit their bids, and the final award of contract to bidders will be made by August 31.