Tullow finds major new oil field off Ghana coast
Shares in Irish exploration firm surge after discovery
TULLOW Oil, an explorer which has a bigger market capitalisation than any other company on the Irish stock exchange, said yesterday that it has discovered a "major new oil field" off the coast of Ghana. Its shares surged as a result.
Tullow found 'light oil' of 33 to 36 degrees gravity on the American Petroleum Institute scale in the Tano area off Ghana, the company said yesterday. Light oil is more useful than so-called heavy oil because it is closer to the petrol and diesel used by industry, motorists and homeowners.
Wells in the Tano area have yielded a string of discoveries, including the Jubilee field, establishing Ghana as a country with significant oil reserves.
Tullow also has positions in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone and is planning to drill a number of wells on its licences in these countries in the next 12 months.
"This is a big well and a big result for Tullow. We've got here a very substantial light oil discovery," Angus McCoss, the exploration director at the company, said yesterday.
"It's really looking to be another transformational oil field for Ghana."
Tullow is the operator of Deepwater Tano where its partners include Anadarko Petroleum, Kosmos Energy and Ghana National Petroleum. Tullow owns a 49.95pc stake in the Tano licence.
Shares in Tullow closed up 4.5pc at €14.76 yesterday. This gave the company a market capitalisation of €13.1bn -- almost €2bn more than CRH, the next largest company listed on the ISEQ. Tullow is Europe's largest independent oil explorer by market value.
Tullow had been targeting a 1.4 billion-barrel find in the Owo-Tweneboa-Ntomme area off Ghana, according to a July 1 company presentation.
"We are going to be partitioning the greater Tweneboa area into a very substantial highly pressured oil field at Owo and the neighbouring major oil and gas field at Tweneboa," Mr McCoss said.
Bob Daniels, Anadarko's senior vice-president for worldwide exploration, said in a separate statement that the company expects "to resume the westward expansion of our exploration activity". (Additional reporting Bloomberg and Reuters)