Eni discovers gas, condensate at Gye Nyame offshore Ghana

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Italian major Eni (NYSE:E) has discovered gas and condensate with its Gye Nyame 1 exploration well offshore Ghana.

Located on the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) Block, the Gye Nyame discovery is situated 50 kilometers offshore Ghana in waters measuring 519 meters deep.

Drilled to a total depth of 3,349 meters, the discovery well transected "significant thickness" of gas and condensate sands with exceptional reservoir sands, as well as oil mineralization in underlying sands.

Eni plans to conduct further drilling to determine the "significant potential" of the discovery.

Potential for FLNG Development

Located about 16 kilometers east of the 2009 Sankofa gas discovery, Gye Nyame may be pulled into a integrated development with Sankofa

Eni has already begun discussions with the Ministry of Energy and GNPC to fast-track the Sankofa development as the first non-associated gas project offshore Ghana.

Eni believes that integrating the two natural gas fields into one development "opens up opportunities for exploiting the international market for liquefied gas, through offshore facilities." In other words, Eni may pursue developing the two natural gas fields via a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development.

Eni serves as the operator of OCTP Block through its subsidiary Eni Ghana Exploration and Production Limited with 47.22 percent interest. Partners on the block include Vitol with 37.78 percent interest, and state-run firm GNPC with 15 percent interest. GNPC also has a back-in option for an additional 5 percent interest.

Eni to Gain More Ghanaian Interest

Additionally, Eni is in the process of finalizing a farm-in agreement into the Keta Block with the operator for a 35 percent stake. Keta is located on the eastern coast of Ghana on the water border with Togo, where Eni earned two exploration licenses in 2010.

Partners on the Keta Block will be Afren with a 35 percent stake, Mitsui with 20 percent and GNPC with 10 percent.

Active in Angola, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, Eni's operated production in West Africa is about 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

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