Japanese appetite for slice of Tullow’s Ghana project could realise $1.4bn

Japanese investors are reportedly lining up to buy part of Tullow Oil’s stake in the high potential $5bn-valued TEN oil project, located off the coast of Ghana.

The Irish-founded exploration company holds a 47% stake in the Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme project, but is looking to farm down a sizeable chunk of that to cover development costs.

Latest rumours suggest Tullow could generate as much as $600m from the sale of a 17%-20% slice of its shareholding. Tullow, however, has already committed to a development carry arrangement, which will see all proceeds raised from the sale go directly into funding TEN’s development.

Tullow’s total shareholding in TEN — stakeholders include Ghana’s state-owned petroleum company, South Africa’s national oil company, Petro SA, and US exploration firms Kosmos Energy and Anadarko Petroleum — has been independently valued at near $1.1bn-$1.4bn.

The project is set for first production in 2016, with peak production estimated at 80,000 barrels per day.

Japanese trading corporations Mitsui and Itochu have been linked to the stake sale. Tullow has made no further comment on the process since last week, when it said the matter “continues to make progress”, adding that it expects to receive formal bids before the end of this month.

Apart from its TEN involvement, Tullow’s latest update noted the company remains on course to reach record oil production levels by the end of this year, with management confident of adding 200 million barrels of oil equivalent to its resources. It added that, with wells in Kenya, Mauritania, Norway, Ethiopia, and Guinea planned for the first half of 2014, “there is much to look forward to” for shareholders.

Tullow’s share price was generally flat in Dublin yesterday at just over €10, and rose by just under 1% to nearly £9 in London.


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