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Italian oil and gas major Eni SpA started pumping first oil from the 45,000-bpd Sankofa oil field on Thursday, Italy’s Embassy in Ghana said on Twitter.
The first-oil ceremony was attended by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo and Eni’s chief executive officer Claudio Descalzi.
Sankofa is one of the fields of the US$7.9 billion Integrated Oil&Gas Development Project, in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block off Ghana’s western coast, for which Eni said in May that it would start production ahead of schedule.
The OCTP consists of the Sankofa Main, Sankofa East, and Gye-Nyame fields, which have around 770 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) in place, of which 500 million barrels of oil and 270 mboe of non-associated gas, or about 40 billion cubic meters. The project also includes the development of gas fields whose production is earmarked entirely for Ghana’s domestic market.
Eni is operator of the OCTP block with a 44.44-percent stake, while Vitol owns 35.56 percent, and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) – the remaining 20 percent.
Eni has been operating in Ghana since 2009 and with the startup of OCTP project the Italian group becomes one of Ghana’s main energy operators.
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Last year, Eni was awarded a new exploration license for the Cape Three Points Block 4, adjacent to the OCTP Block. If successful, synergies with OCTP will allow for a fast-tracked start-up. The drilling of the first exploration well is expected in 2018, in continuity with the drilling of Block OCTP wells, according to the Italian company.
At the first oil ceremony, Eni’s CEO Descalzi said that the group had decided to sell the gas locally and make Ghana an energy hub.
Ghana’s oil production is expected to average 200,000 bpd this year, despite a two-month shutdown at one of the small African nation’s major production facilities.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.