COVID 19 delay Ghana’s Second licensing round

Government’s plan to attract more investors into the oil and gas industry through its second licensing round has been put on hold for now.

Checks by reveals the development is as a result of the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the oil and gas sector.

Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission Egbert Faibille Junior confirmed this during a webinar on Covid 19 Response Strategies in Africa’s Oil and Gas industry organized by the African Centre for Energy Policy ACEP.

The development could negatively impact on governments projection of investment into the sector .

Bid and licensing rounds are now a global norm for resource rich countries like Ghana in selecting investors for the upstream petroleum activities.

Ghana in October 2018 launched its maiden  oil exploration licensing round which  saw some  sixty  oil and gas  firms submitting applications for the two available blocks offshore.

Some of the major  companies that submitted applications are Tullow Oil, Total, ENI, Cairn, Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation, ExxonMobil, CNOOC , Qatar Petroleum, BP, Vitol, Global Petroleum Group, Aker Energy, First E&P, Kosmos, Sasol and Equinor.

Subsequently Government in July 2019 announced First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited in partnership with Elandel Energy Ghana Limited as winners of the first block.

Whiles the second block went to ENI Ghana Exploration and Production Limited in partnership with Vitol Upstream Tano Limited.

Recently the Civil Society Licensing Round Monitoring Group described the country’s score of 70 percent after the exercise as satisfactory.

By Fred Dzakpata

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