Independent oil company Tullow Oil, of the UK, was pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in Africa, where its commercial reserve base could double over the next two years.
Underpinning the strategy was a $1,2-billion capital expenditure programme for 2009, 88% of which would be allocated to African exploration and development projects. The company's flagship project was the Jubilee Oilfield Phase One Development off the coast of Ghana.
Addressing delegates attending the sixteenth Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on Wednesday, Tullow Oil vice-president for Africa Business Tim O'Hanlon said that phase one of the development of the oilfield was currently under way and that the first oil would be delivered from the field in the second half of 2010.
The $3,2-billion project involved the first-phase development of the Jubilee oilfield and included the drilling of 17 wells.
Subsea production installations and the leasing of a floating, production, storage and offtake vessel were expected to deliver a plateau oil rate of 120 000 bbl/d, a water injection capacity of 230 000 bbl/d of water, and a gas export and injection capacity of up to 160-million standard cubic feet a day.
"We are currently in the middle of the development of this field and the project remains on budget," O'Hanlon explained.
The project was being fast-tracked to ensure that production would begin in the second half of 2010.
The Jubilee oilfield had proven reserves of over 300-million barrels of recoverable oil, and a resource of up to $1,8-billion barrels, making it West Africa's largest offshore deep-water discovery in over a decade.
O'Hanlon reported that Tullow was also investigating the Tweneboa oilfield, which was also located off the coast of Ghana.
It was believed that the prospect, which was a major light hydrocarbon discovery, had a resource potential of 1,4-billion barrels. Appraisal drilling on this discovery was currently under way.
O'Hanlon argued that, despite the company's European roots, Tullow could be considered an African success story, owing to the fact that it had interests in 15 African countries and in 17 producing fields, and had a total of 47 licences across the continent.