Lukoil says Ghana bid to boost stake in oil asset risks funding

September 14, 2021
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(Bloomberg) — Russian energy giant Lukoil PJSC said Ghana’s plans to acquire a bigger stake in one of its key oil projects could pose a risk to its execution.

Ghana National Petroleum Corp. last month won parliamentary approval to negotiate increasing its share of the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points block and the South Deepwater Tano field. But Lukoil, which owns 38% of the DWT/CTP asset, fears a change of ownership may affect project financing and schedules, according to a letter sent to Ghana’s energy minister and seen by Bloomberg.

Lukoil’s press office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

State-owned GNPC, currently holding 10% of DWT/CTP and about a third of South Deepwater Tano, is seeking to drive up revenue for government coffers after a shortfall in oil receipts amid the pandemic deepened last year’s budget deficit. Ghana’s hydrocarbon resources will also increasingly have to compete for investment as the use of cleaner energy grows.

The nation estimates it will need more than $1 billion to acquire a 37% stake in the DWT/CTP asset, operated by Aker Energy AS, and a 70% share of the South Deepwater Tano field operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Ltd. Lukoil was not made aware of plans to alter ownership and operatorship, it said in the letter.

In response, Energy Minister Matthew Opoku Prempeh said GNPC had the financial backing and technical competence to buy the stakes and participate in the projects, according to a separate letter seen by Bloomberg. The proposed acquisition is still in its early stages and remains under negotiation, and Lukoil will be involved in the discussions at the appropriate time, the minister said.   

A spokesperson for the Energy Ministry declined to comment. Aker’s local unit and AGM Petroleum didn’t respond to requests for comment.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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