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Kosmos Shelved Plans to Sell Its Assets

Source: Reuters 11/1/2010, Location: Africa

Kosmos Energy LLC has for shelved plans to sell its assets in Ghana, which includes one of the largest recent oil discoveries in the world, an official at Ghanaian National Petroleum Corp (GNPC) said on Monday.

Chinese oil giant CNOOC has made a $5 billion joint bid with GNPC for Kosmos' major oil fields in the West African state, after an earlier bid by Exxon Mobil of more than $4 billion failed.

Buyers have been circling Kosmos, attracted to the company's assets including a 23.49 percent stake in the offshore Jubilee field, which is operated by Britain's Tullow Oil and holds around 1.6 billion barrels of light crude.

"Kosmos wants to retain their stake. They have changed their mind. They no longer want to exit Ghana for now," Gabriel Q. A. Osatey, GNPC's chief geo-physicist, told reporters.

He did not explain why privately held Kosmos, backed by private equity firms Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus, had decided not to sell.

The Texas-based company also has a 30.875 stake in the West Cape Three Points block and an 18 percent share in the Deepwater Tano block.

Osatey said that phase one of Jubilee field will start production from December this year and reach a peak output level of 120,000 barrels per day by 2012. During the second phase in 2013, peak output is expected to double to 240,000 bpd, he said.

The onset of oil production in Ghana is expected to help double its growth to 9.9 percent next year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Once Jubilee reaches the maximum expected production rate of 250,000 bpd, it will be sub-Saharan Africa's No. 6 producer.

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