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Bidding for oil blocks: 14 companies progress to next stage

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Fourteen out of the sixteen companies that applied to explore oil blocks put on offer by the government, have qualified for the next stage of the bidding process.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the fourteen companies will now have up until May 21, 2019 to submit their bids for three (3) out of the five (5) available oil blocks.

The competitive tendering process, according to the government, is part of efforts aimed at ensuring transparency, value for money and getting companies with the requisite financial and technical expertise to exploit the Oil and Gas resource.

The process, which was ushered in by President Nana Akufo-Addo on October 15, 2018, begun with sixteen (16) companies putting in Sixty (60) applications in connection for the different oil blocks.

Out of the 6 oil blocks up for exploration, Block 1 has been reserved for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Blocks 2, 3 and 4 are up for competitive bidding, while Blocks 5 and 6 will be awarded by government after Direct Negotiation with some select oil companies.

All prospective bidders submitted their applications on the 20th of December, 2018.

Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah explained to Citi Business News that transparent processes were used to arrive at the number.

“The objective of prequalification is to ensure that we only allow companies that have the financial muscle, technical competence and are willing to give us the best in terms of local content to move on to the next level. Out of the two companies that failed to make it, one applied for a block reserved for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) making their bid invalid. The second company did not meet our prequalification requirements. The remaining 14 have been prequalified and have been sent the bidding document together with the evaluation criteria and a scorecard,” he said.

According to Nana Damoah government is on track to awarding the 3 oil blocks up for bidding to the best companies out of the remaining 14 in August this year.

“We are very much on schedule. At the launch event we put out a timeline and you will realize we have met the deadlines so far. Moving forward the next critical date is May 21, 2018. And we are sure we will meet this deadline which will lead to the ultimate conclusion of the award of block in August this year.”

The original pool of companies that put in a bid for the 3 oil blocks include China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Cairn Energy, Qatar Petroleum, Global Petroleum Group, First E&P, Sasol, Equinor and Harmony Oil and Gas Corporation. The rest include ExxonMobil, British Petroleum, Tullow Ghana Limited, Total, ENI Ghana, Vitol, Kosmos Energy And Aker Energy.

By: Bobbie Osei/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana


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