Aker ASA: Aker Energy reaches agreement to acquire Hess Ghana with an aim to build a significant E&P activity in Ghana
Aker Energy AS ("Aker Energy"), a 50-50 joint venture between Aker ASA ("Aker") and TRG AS ("TRG"), has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Hess Corporation to acquire its interests in Ghana consisting of a 50 percent participating interest in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block ("DWT/CTP"). The Tano Basin offshore Ghana is a prolific petroleum region where Aker Energy sees considerable potential to apply the Aker Group's experience from the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to build a significant E&P activity in Ghana together with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation ("GNPC").
The total cash consideration for the transaction is USD 100 million, consisting of USD 25 million payable upon closing of the transaction and a further USD 75 million payable upon approval of the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) on the DWT/CTP block. The acquisition is subject to approval from relevant Ghanaian authorities and other customary closing conditions.
The DWT/CTP block
The DWT/CTP block covers approximately 2,010 square kilometres in a prolific petroleum region. In the last ten years, seven exploration wells and five appraisal wells have been drilled on this block. The discovered contingent resources are estimated to be 550 million barrels (2C) with a remaining prospective volume upside of approximately 400 million barrels.
Aker Energy has drawn upon the expertise in oil field development from the companies in the Aker Group and is currently progressing a commercially robust development solution with a fast-track first phase targeting approximately 400 million barrels. The field development concept will be based on a FPSO with a subsea production system. The development concept will build on experience gained from the NCS with multilateral wells with improved completion solutions providing improved reservoir contact and recovery factor. Proven artificial lift solutions will further enhance recovery rates while infield pipeline solutions will ensure flow properties. The subsea production system will be designed to facilitate rapid tie-backs to the centrally located FPSO in the second phase.
The PDO will be submitted in 2018 with anticipated first oil in 2021.
"Aker is pleased to have been invited into this joint venture by TRG and looks forward to exploring the opportunity of building a significant E&P activity in Ghana inspired by what Aker has achieved on the NCS. The Aker Group is uniquely positioned to combine technological know-how from the upstream oil and gas industry with its extensive experience in the oil services to deliver a successful fast-track project. We are looking forward to partnering with the GNPC and have high expectations for what we can achieve together," said Øyvind Eriksen, President & CEO of Aker.
"GNPC is excited that Aker is entering into Ghana's upstream sector as an operator. The Aker group is globally recognized as an oil services provider and an upstream operator. We look forward to working closely with a member of the group, Aker Energy. We believe that our collaboration will lead to further successes in the ultra deepwater Tano basin of Ghana, and enable the transfer of knowledge to the Ghanaian oil and gas industry," said Dr. K.K. Sarpong, CEO of GNPC.
Aker Energy plans to build an independent organisation to manage the planned exploration and appraisal programs as well as the ongoing field development work. More than 60 people are currently engaged in the project for Aker Energy. During a transition period, Aker Energy will draw on certain key third-party capabilities, including from Aker related companies. Aker BP will deliver limited services to Aker Energy on market terms and remain separate without funding commitments or ownership interests in Aker Energy, or any Ghana related activities. Inspired by Aker BP's successful change agenda on the NCS, Aker Energy will build on the same core success factors. These include a strong commitment to time efficient solutions, digitalization, use of alliances and an entrepreneurial and flexible organisation. These success factors have led to world class drilling performance, extensive use of advanced well completions and an efficient field development process.
TRG, a company owned by Kjell Inge Røkke and the principal shareholder of Aker, has been involved in Ghana since 2014 and holds an interest in the South Deepwater Tano block ("SDWT") through its investment in Petrica Holding. The SDWT block is located immediately to the south of the DWT/CTP block and measures approximately 3,500 square kilometres. The block contains several high potential exploration prospects. New high resolution seismic is currently being acquired in the SDWT block in preparation for exploration drilling. Aker Energy envisages significant synergies between the DWT/CTP and SDWT blocks and will target a regional development.
The Aker Group has a long history of building local industry and through Aker Energy is currently in dialogue with the authorities in Ghana on how to develop a long term sustainable oil related industry in Ghana. Aker Energy envisages several field developments and significant opportunities for local staff and services on the offshore installations, base operations for support of the offshore operations, local fabrication and a long-term ambition of cooperating with Ghana suppliers.
Aker will present its fourth quarter and preliminary annual results for 2017 today at 09:00 CET at Fornebuporten, Oksenøyveien 10.
For further information, please contact:
Per Kristian Reppe, Head of Investor Relations
Phone: +47 24 13 00 67
Mobile: +47 90 03 32 03
Atle Kigen, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +47 24 13 00 08
Mobile: +47 907 84 878
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5 -12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.