New Opportunities in West Africa for Independents

Accra, October 21 (Energy Voice Aberdeen) – As majors shift out of mature West African assets, new opportunities may attract large independents to enter the area.

Welligence’s vice president for Africa research Obo Idornigie said there was a gap for companies to re-examine West Africa, “particularly, deepwater opportunities with operating responsibilities”.

Majors are looking to sell down assets in the region as they focus on new opportunities, not least in the energy transition.

Idornigie was speaking in the context of Kosmos Energy’s purchase of Occidental Petroleum’s stake in two Ghanaian projects, Jubilee and TEN.

Kosmos said it would pay $460 million after closing adjustments for the 18% stake in Jubilee and 11% stake in TEN.

Kosmos paid a price of around $5 per barrel of reserves for the Ghanaian acquisition, the Welligence executive said. This is “in the same ballpark” as other local deals, such as Panoro Energy’s acquisition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Where Kosmos has found its edge in exploration, it has tended not to take the lead in operating. While US companies have moved away from Africa in the last 10 years, there may be scope for a return.

Nigeria is looking more attractive, with the passing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Idornigie said, with Shell and ExxonMobil looking to sell down assets. Angola is also on offer, with Sonangol working to bring in new partners and financial support.

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