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Plan of Development: Energy Ministry issues final deadline to Aker Energy

The Ministry of Energy has given a final deadline to Aker Energy to submit its Plan of Development as Lukoil plans divest interest in Pecan field

The field operator of the Pecan development project in Ghana’s Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block, Aker Energy may lose its interest in the field if it fails to submit its Plan of Development (PoD) by 15 April 2023, sources at the Energy Ministry have told Asaase Radio.

Aker Energy postponed submitting a Plan of Development for the offshore Pecan field citing among others the possibility of its Russian partner Lukoil attracting sanctions as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

However, the Russian energy major denied that its presence puts the project at risk of sanctions.

Lukoil in a recent statement cited by Reuters said: “The company and its management are not subject to any sanctions, therefore there are no obstacles in this respect for the joint development of the oilfield.”

On June 27 2022 the GNPC which currently holds 10 percent of the DWT/CTP in a letter signed by its CEO said it recognized the concerns raised regarding Lukoil as a license partner in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three block. The GNPC per the letter recommended that Aker Energy maintained its current schedule to ensure the submission of the PoD by 30 June 2022.

Aker Energy had earlier promised first oil by 2020 but has now revised it to 2025. It will be recalled that Aker had persistently postponed submission of the PoD since 2018 and has cast doubts on the reliability and commitment of the international oil company to develop the Pecan field.

Aker Energy which owns a 50% participating stake in the DWT/CTP had also failed to honour some promises it made. These include taking over of the Tema Drydock and having it rehabilitated for repairs ships and FPSO topsides fabrication.

Sources say failure to meet the latest deadline of 15 April will mean the Energy Minister will reserve the right to reassign the field to whoever he deems fit for purpose, as the block come back to the country.

Aker may well lose its rights over the field, the call thus becomes the minister’s, a source disclosed.

Apart from Lukoil, Aker Energy’s other partners in the project include Fueltrade (2%) and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10%).

Meanwhile, Russian oil producer Lukoil is said to be negotiating with Indian companies to divest its 38% interest in the Pecan oilfield offshore Ghana, according to Reuters, citing undisclosed sources, the move is aimed at resolving a standstill in filing field development plans, which the field’s operator Aker Energy has not yet filed.

Sources with knowledge of the development told the news agency that the Russian firm held talks with Indian firms, including ONGC Videsh, at the India Energy Week conference.

According to one of the sources, Lukoil is directly negotiating with prospective buyers as investment banking firms are distancing themselves because of Western sanctions against Russia.

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