ExxonMobil begins talks with Ghana over deepwater oil exploration

Ghana has begun direct negotiations with ExxonMobil which could allow the US oil giant to commence deepwater exploration off the coast of the West African nation.

Speaking at the Africa oil conference in Accra, Ghana’s deputy energy minister Mohamed Amin Adam said that talks were progressing well according to the country’s current laws.

The minister added that the government had chosen to open up direct negotiation as opposed to open competitive tendering due to the unusual nature of the deepwater field, and because Ghana is yet to pass regulations backing open tendering.

Exxon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ghana back in 2015 to assess its Deepwater Cape Three Point (DCTP) region, in water depths ranging between 2,000-4,000 metres.

The government sees Exxon’s proven experience and capability in deepwater operations as vital, owing to the challenging nature of the field.

“Ultra-deepwater exploration is beyond the reach of current technology and we believe operators with strong research and development capability such as ExxonMobil are needed to unlock the potentials,” said Adam.