UK oil firm hits major new find off Ghana

14th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

British firm Tullow said Tuesday it has found what could be among the largest recent oil discoveries in Africa off the coast of Ghana, with the field holding a potential 550 million barrels.

The new find in Tullow's deepwater Tano licence comes just three months before Ghana is expected to start pumping crude from the Jubilee field, discovered three years ago and one of the biggest finds in west Africa of the last decade.

Owo field is estimated to hold between 70 million and 550 million barrels of light, sweet and high quality crude.

The Owo field "is potentially the largest light oil discovery in Africa since our own Jubilee oil field discovery three years ago," Tullow's head of investor relations Chris Perry told AFP.

The Jubilee field, discovered in 2007, is believed to hold some 1.8 billion barrels of reserves.

Tullow has a 50 percent interest in Tano, where it operates alongside several other global oil giants and Ghana's state-run oil firm Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

Cocoa and gold-rich Ghana is expected to start commercially producing oil by year's end.

Government officials have vowed to carefully manage the country's oil reserves and revenue, vowing to avoid the mismanagement that has plagued nearby Nigeria, among the world's largest producers.

Ghana's recent oil discovery has however sparked a row with Ivory Coast over the border, with Accra accusing Abidjan of claiming part of its maritime space.

© 2010 AFP

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