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GNPC Money to Buy Kosmos Jubilee Stake

Source: Bloomberg 10/29/2009, Location: Africa

Ghana National Petroleum Corp. has the funds to buy a stake in the Jubilee oil field from Kosmos Energy LLC, according to Kwame Ntow Amoah, head of economic evaluation and monitoring at the state-owned company.

Ghana National, also known as GNPC, is in talks with Kosmos about the price and other issues and has secured the money from “at least two” banks, he said today by mobile phone from Accra. He declined to name the lenders or comment on the price.

GNPC will consider proposals from potential partners once the purchase is complete, he said. “The Chinese, the Americans, the British, all of them are welcome to bring proposals and we will look at them at the second stage,” Amoah said.

GNPC could choose one company to work with or a combination of partners, he said, adding that there isn’t a date by which a decision on the sale must be made.

Ghana’s nascent oil industry, still a year away from production of oil for export, has attracted attention from some of the world’s top energy companies. BP Plc, Europe’s second- largest oil company, may also bid for Kosmos’ stake in Jubilee, people familiar with the matter said Oct. 22.

Earlier this month, closely held Kosmos said it had agreed to sell its Ghanaian assets, including its 23.49 percent stake in Jubilee, to Exxon Mobil Corp. for $4 billion.

Ghana’s government disapproves of the agreement and is still in negotiations with Kosmos, Reuters reported on Oct. 15, citing Ato Ahwoi, a member of President John Atta Mills’s ruling party and chairman of GNPC.

Tullow Oil Plc, the U.K.-based operator of the field, has estimated Jubilee could contain as much as 1.8 billion barrels of oil. GNPC already has a 13.75 percent stake in the field.

On Sept. 16, Tullow said the West African coast from Ghana to Sierra Leone may hold some 6 billion barrels of undiscovered oil.

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