Tullow contracts Ghanaian Navy vessels to ensure safety in offshore fields

Tullow Ghana, a subsidiary of the oil and gas company Tullow Oil, and the Ghana Navy have entered into an agreement, which is expected to add an additional layer of safety and security in the Ghanian waters, allowing the company to continue operations in its offshore fields in the area.

Tullow Ghana reported on Monday that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Navy for the provision of security services at the Jubilee and Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) oil fields.

Ghanaian Navy vessels – acquired for the Ghana Navy with funding from the GCB Bank – are expected to provide asset protection in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEC) in the TEN and Jubilee fields, according to a report by Ghana News Agency (GNA).

A total of $23.5 million will be invested during the five-year contract period for these vessels by Tullow Ghana along with the Jubilee and TEN partners.

The GNA reported that this long-term contract started on 1 January 2022 and is valid until 31 December 2026.

In its update in November 2021, Tullow stated that its offshore drilling campaign in Ghana was on track, with three of the four wells planned in 2021 being already on stream. The firm also reported a significant improvement in operating performance as combined uptime on both FPSOs was averaging circa 97 per cent while the gas offtake from the government of Ghana was averaging approximately 110 mmscfd.

At the time, Tullow’s data showed that the Jubilee field was producing around 28,700 bopd net to Tullow (gross approximately 81,000 bopd). The company also informed that the Jubilee FPSO maintenance shutdown, which was originally scheduled for September 2021, is expected to take place in April 2022.

Based on the firm’s statement, this shift in timeline allows the work scope to be optimised and gas enhancement works previously planned for a 2023 shutdown to be accelerated. Back in November last year, the TEN field was producing approximately 13,200 bopd net to Tullow (gross around 28,000 bopd).

A few days prior to this production update, Tullow exercised its right of pre-emption related to the sale of Occidental Petroleum’s interests in the Jubilee and TEN fields in Ghana to Kosmos Energy.

As a result, Tullow’s equity interests are expected to increase to 38.9 per cent in the Jubilee field and 54.8 per cent in the TEN fields, while completion of the transaction remains subject to finalising definitive agreements with Kosmos Energy/Anadarko WCTP Company and gaining approval from the Government of Ghana.

In November 2021, Tullow also took delivery of the first Ghanaian-owned and Ghanaian-flagged marine vessel, which will support offshore oil and gas industry activities in Ghana.

GNA quoted Cynthia Lumor, Deputy Managing Director at Tullow, as saying: “The Jubilee and TEN partners’ commitment to support the retooling of the Ghana Navy is mutually beneficial to both parties. This partnership will ensure the protection of the Ghanaian waters by providing security services in the Jubilee and TEN fields and along the coast of Ghana. We believe that this will further strengthen the relationship between Tullow Ghana and the Ghana Navy.”

Back in October 2017, Naval Captain Eric Adu expressed the importance of patrols around the Jubilee fields, explaining that due to expanding the prospects of the oil industry, patrol and vigilance is instrumental in controlling activities of recalcitrant fishermen.

Adu further added that the infrastructure associated with the offshore oil and gas industry is vulnerable to many threats, including maritime border disputes, oil theft, piracy and armed robbery, thus, protection of such facilities calls for a multi-agency approach. Based on Adu’s statement at the time, Ghana has a mission to develop and deploy maritime forces with the capability to ensure a safe, secure and clean maritime domain.

This was confirmed in August 2021 by the CEO of Ghana’s Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille, who urged all users of the marine space to co-exist peacefully during a stakeholder consultative meeting in Takoradi.

The Ghana Navy command structure consists of the Naval Headquarters at Burma Camp, Accra along with three operational commands, including the Western Naval Command at Sekondi, the Eastern Naval Command at Tema, and The Naval Training Command at Nutekpor-Sogakope in the Volta Region.

Four new fighter vessels were recently acquired for the Ghana Navy to enhance its capacity to protect the country’s maritime domain, including offshore oil and gas installations, according to Ghana’s Graphic Online news agency. These Flex-fighter vessels are expected to drive further efforts into making Ghana’s maritime space safer and unattractive to pirates and other illegal activities.

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