Ghana like its West African sister Nigeria upon discovery of oil and gas in its territory is expected to have a marked improvement in the quality of life of its citizens.
But the reality is that the companies which operate in the oil and gas space are largely foreign-owned. It thus means they take the greatest risk but also get to keep the largest profits.
In Ghana, the oil and gas industry has segmented operations into the upstream (exploration and production), mid-stream (involves all activities between the oil well head and the refinery including transportation of oil and gas from oil fields such as Jubilee to refineries onshore and storage of petroleum) and downstream (predominantly characterized by the importation of crude oil and finished products, refining, storage, marketing and sale of petroleum products.)
When commercial production began in the Jubilee field in 2010, the Petroleum Commission was set up in 2011 to regulate the upstream industry. The country’s output of 126,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) showed prospects with international companies like Aker Energy, Tullow Oil, Kosmos Energy and ENI being key upstream operators.
That is why the entry of Springfield Group in the upstream sector is being hailed by local oil and gas stakeholders. Springfield Group’s CEO Kevin Okyere revealed his company had discovered gas and two streams of light oil offshore Ghana in its Afina-1 well. It made the discovery at a depth of 3,323m in waters about 1,000m deep.
“I can proudly announce that we now have over 1.5 billion barrels of proven oil and almost 1 TCF of proven gas with additional potential upside of over 3 billion barrels of oil and a lot more gas,” he noted.
Additionally, the former telecoms entrepreneur stated Springfield Group made history as the first independent homegrown African energy company to drill in deepwater and find significant hydrocarbons.
Springfield anticipates its output will be bigger than Ghana’s Jubilee field-Ghana’s biggest operated by UK’s Tullow Oil. Of the 1.2bn of proven reserves, 30% to 35% are recoverable.
The group’s vision of becoming a leading African upstream company with a global focus, according to Mr. Kevin Okyere, is on course, adding “Nigeria has had oil for a long time and no indigenous company there has ever done this.”
Springfield Group expects to boost the country’s production by an additional 250,000 barrels a day by 2020, which would make Ghana the fourth-largest producer in sub-Saharan Africa.
Springfield was given the block, known as West Cape Three Points Block 2, by Ghana’s government in 2016 after it was relinquished by Kosmos. The US company, which had drilled the block without finding oil, had returned it to Ghana following a protracted dispute with the government.
Springfield was awarded the block for free but said it had invested well over $100m in exploration and drilling. Springfield said it had already been in talks with potential partners, and did not rule out an initial public offering in either London or New York as a way of raising funds to develop the field.