Tullow Oil to Seek Partner for Ghana’s TEN Project

Tullow Oil Plc, the U.K. explorer that found Kenya’s first oil, plans to find more partners in Ghana’s TEN project, the Chief Executive Officer said.

In Ghana, “it’s never been our intention to stick with 50 percent all the way through,” Heavey said today in London. “It’s too much for any company, even a major company.”

In East Africa, Tullow together with partner Africa Oil Corp. plans to drill about 10 wells in Kenya and Ethiopia this year to explore the Turkana Rift Basin that stretches between the two countries. If local roads were improved, Tullow could start producing from Kenya now, possibly trucking crude to the refinery in Mombasa, he said.

Tullow, based in London, has drilled three wells in Kenya with the first oil discovery at the Ngamia well and the first commercial flow from the Twiga well in the South Lokichar Basin. The nation may export its first crude at the same time as Uganda, where Tullow is working with Total SA and Cnooc Ltd. to develop the Lake Albert fields, Heavey told reporters.

“A few more wells may actually prove it to be a major development” the CEO said. “If that’s the case, then the pipeline from Uganda could quite easily go through Lokichar, pick up the oil there” for exports through an Indian Ocean port. “What we are trying to do is to bring in the right type of partners and we get them to come up with financing.”

Unlike landlocked Uganda, Kenya doesn’t require running an export pipeline across other countries, he said. Tullow will bring a fourth rig to the region to accelerate drilling later this year and will increase the Ngamia well resource estimate “quite significantly” following “encouraging” tests.

In West Africa, the company is looking for partners to sell part of its largest stakes in exploration licenses in deep waters off Mauritania, Heavey said.

Tullow global oil and gas producing projects generate enough cash to spend about $1 billion a year on exploration.

“We are focused on building the biggest exploration business around,” Heavey said.