Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil company, made the first crude discovery in Ghana’s Offshore Cape Three Points block, opening the prospect of increased production in the West African country.
The company found oil 50 kilometers (31 miles) off Ghana at a well drilled to a depth of 3,650 meters (12,000 feet). The Sankofa East-1X well produced about 5,000 barrels of oil per day, Eni said in a statement today.
“Eni plans for the immediate drilling of other wells to delineate the size of the discovery and confirm the feasibility of commercial development,” said the Rome-based company, which has operated in Ghana since 2009.
Eni is also working on its plans to commercialize the block’s gas reserves on the domestic gas market, in accordance with the shareholders’ agreement with Ghana’s ministry of energy.
After the December 2010 start of oil production for export at the Jubilee field, operated by Tullow Oil Plc, Ghana’s economy grew 14.4 percent in 2011, the fastest pace in Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund. Growth is forecast at 9.4 percent this year according to the Finance Ministry.
The country’s revenue from oil climbed 43 percent to $326.6 million in the first half of the year, with output averaging 62,985 barrels a day, according to a Bank of Ghana report from August. Output is expected to rise “in excess of” 90,000 barrels by the end of the year.
The OCTP block is operated by Eni, with a 47 percent stake in the project, Vitol Upstream Ghana Ltd., which has 38 percent, and state company GNPC, which has 15 percent.