Exxon: Ghana Go On An African Big Game Hunt

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, news that Exxon is eyeing Ghana as a site of potential expansion.  As the article notes:

“…What does it take to stir Exxon into making a big deal for more oil assets? The rare combination of good geology and favorable politics—Ghana, in other words, whose oil reserves look like catnip to Exxon’s tiger.

Exxon is close to inking a $4 billion deal to acquire a stake in the Jubilee oil field off the coast of Ghana, the oil company’s biggest investment in a decade. Exxon would buy the 23.5% stake held by Kosmos Energy. Other companies invested in Jubilee include Tullow and Anadarko.

West Africa has lately become a preferred hunting ground for medium-sized oil companies looking for crude. Last month, Tullow and Anadarko talked up the oil potential off Africa’s west coast. Now that Exxon’s joined the party, the region seems to be earning its bona fides.

For Big Oil, one of the biggest problems isn’t the lack of oil per se. It’s the lack of access to the oil that’s out there. That’s true, to varying degrees, from Russia to Venezuela. It’s what oil-watchers call the “above-ground” obstacles to oil production.

In West Africa, oil companies are finding a receptive government—Exxon does offer lots of expertise, after all–whose appeal matches the potential underground riches. Kosmos earlier estimated Jubilee could hold between 650 million and 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 at 9:07 am and is filed under Uncategorized.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.