Photo: Pecan Development - Phase 1a and Phase 1b; Source: Aker Energy

Filing of Ghana field development plan hampered by involvement of Russia’s Lukoil

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker Energy is postponing the submission of its prepared development plan for the Pecan field offshore Ghana to the country’s authorities until challenges related to the involvement of Russia’s Lukoil in the project have been resolved.

Aker Energy, controlled by Aker ASA, holds a 50 per cent participating interest in the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Point (DWT/CTP) block in Ghana, including the Pecan development project, with Russia’s Lukoil (38 per cent), Fueltrade (2 per cent), and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10 per cent) as partners.

The Pecan field will be developed with a re-deployed FPSO connected to a subsea production system 2,700 meters below sea level.

In its 2Q 2022 report on Wednesday, Aker ASA said that Aker Energy has completed the front end engineering and design for the Pecan field development and prepared a revised Plan of Development (POD) for the DWT/CTP block.

As a reminder, an integrated POD for the DWT/CTP block was submitted to Ghana’s authorities in March 2019. The integrated plan entailed a phased development and production of the resources in the DWT/CTP contract area, which would start with the Pecan field as phase one. However, about a year later, Aker postponed the project FID – amid the Covid-19 pandemic – and terminated its agreement with Yinson to provide an FPSO for the project. The contract would have been for a firm duration of ten years followed by five yearly extension options.

In June 2020, Aker Energy reaffirmed its commitment to the project and to finding a solution that would allow for the beginning of a phased development of the Pecan field. While the original field development concept was based on a centralised FPSO supporting the development of the entire field, as well as tie-ins of all other area resources, the focus then shifted toward a phased development approach.

It was said that this approach would enable Aker Energy to begin with one FPSO for Pecan in the south and expand to a second FPSO in the north after a few years, with tie-ins of additional discovered resources.

Now, as a consequence of the uncertainties arising due to issues like the war in Ukraine and Lukoil’s 38 per cent interest in the licence, the POD is not planned to be submitted until the challenges have been resolved, Aker explained. Therefore, the Minister of Energy has granted an extension of the POD delivery date, until 30 September 2022.

Lukoil is listed as one of the entities subject to U.S. energy sector sanctions following Russia’s war in Ukraine. However, these restrictions will not apply to the DWT/CTP project due to the project being initiated before 29 January 2018. Aker Energy says it will comply with all Norwegian and international sanctions applicable for Aker Energy and the DWT/CTP block in Ghana.