Ghana company says it discovers 1.5 bln barrels of offshore oil

A worker is pictured at the Stena forth drill rig for Springfield Group, the first independent African energy company to discover oil in deep sea, at the sea near Takoradi, Ghana. November 15, 2019 . REUTERS/Kweku Obeng

DAKAR (Reuters) - Ghana’s Springfield E&P said on Wednesday that it had discovered 1.5 billion barrels of oil and 0.7 trillion cubic feet of gas off the West African country’s Atlantic coast.

The discovery is a significant one in a country that currently produces about 200,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), about half of it from British company Tullow’s Jubilee field.

Springfield, a wholly-owned Ghanaian company, said in a statement that the undiscovered potential of the block was estimated at over 3 billions barrels of oil and gas.

“This is great news for Springfield, Ghana and Africa,” said chief executive Kevin Okyere. “We are excited about the discovery as it ties into our vision of becoming a leading African upstream player with a global focus.”

Ghana’s government has been frustrated by the slow pace of offshore development and is working on revising its licensing laws in an effort to spur production.

Its deputy minister for petroleum said last month that Ghana had expected 14 wells to be drilled and $890 million invested between 2013 and 2016, but not a single well was drilled and companies spent just $95 million.

Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Aaron Ross and Louise Heavens