Norwegian oil firm, AGM Petroleum, has relinquished its interest in the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) block offshore the Republic of Ghana in a bid to depart the West African nation.
The company disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, March 6, 2023.
AGM Petroleum holds an 80 per cent interest in the SDWT block while GNPC has a 15 per cent stake with Quad Energy holding the remaining 15 per cent.
It would be recalled that two years ago, the current Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh submitted to Ghana’s Parliament a proposal on behalf of Ghana’s national oil company, GNPC, to seek approval for a loan of $1.6 billion to acquire 37 per cent stake in the Deep Water Tano Cape Three Point (DWT/CTP) block operated by Aker Energy Ghana Limited and 70 per cent stake in the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) block operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited.
The two acquisitions were to cost Ghana about $1.3 billion.
However, the cost of the acquisition was contested by Civil Society Groups in the country led by African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and IMANI Africa.
The group argued that the cost of the acquisition should not be more than $300 million.
Interestingly, after almost two years, the company, in an official statement issued, Per -Kjetil Skare, CEO of AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited, said, “AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited (AGM) and its owners have decided to relinquish the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) block after carefully considering all options.
“AGM has carried out the substantial activity in Ghana and contributed through drilling two ultra-deepwater wells including the Nyankom discovery and matured the subsurface understanding to the benefit of the Ghanaian authorities and other industry players. Further, AGM has carried out CSR investments and fulfilled all of the obligations under the petroleum agreement.”
The SDWT block is situated in ultra-deep waters with substantial investments required to proceed.
According to the statement, a relinquishment conclusion is a normal conclusion for exploration blocks like SDWT, and the petroleum regime in Ghana presumes that the operator has to decide to drill or drop at specific times during the exploration period.
The company said it is an independent company and the decision has no implication for Aker Energy’s plans in Ghana.