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Russian oil firm Lukoil is in direct talks with Indian companies to sell its 38% stake in a deepwater oil and gas field offshore Ghana, Reuters reported on Monday, quoting Russian and Ghanaian sources with knowledge of the matter.
The potential sale could unblock the suspension of the field development plan, which the operator of the Pecan field, Norway’s Aker Energy, hasn’t submitted yet.
Aker Energy holds a 50% participating interest in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block in Ghana, including the Pecan development project. Lukoil owns 38%, Fueltrade has 2%, and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation holds the remaining 10%. Seven successful exploration wells and eight appraisal wells on the block have proved a significant resource base as well as offering a high upside, Aker Energy says.
However, the company has been wary of the involvement of Lukoil as a partner in the block due to the Western sanctions on Russia and has said it would wait to see the issue resolved until it files a field development plan.
Aker Energy has completed FEED and prepared a revised Plan of Development for the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points block, Aker said in August 2022.
Earlier this month the Q4 earnings release, Aker said that the filing of the development plant “has been delayed due to the uncertainties and risks caused by the war in Ukraine and Lukoil Overseas Ghana Tano Ltd.’s 38 percent interest in the license, as well as supply chain disruptions and inflation.” The current deadline for submitting the plan has been extended to April 2023.
Lukoil is directly talking with Indian companies about potentially selling its stake in the Pecan field development because banks do not want to get involved due to the sanctions against Russia, according to Reuters’ sources. During an Indian energy event earlier this month, Lukoil representatives and Indian firms, including ONGC Videsh, the foreign investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), discussed a potential deal, the sources said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com