The deadline for the submission of bids for the exploration oil blocks put on offer by the government in October last year elapsed at 12 noon today, May 21, 2019.
The Ministry of Energy is expected to begin the opening of the bids at 5 pm.
The bid process, which was ushered in by President Nana Akufo-Addo on October 15, 2018, began with 16 companies putting in 60 applications for the different oil blocks put up by the government.
Out of the six 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 earlier on submitted their applications on the 20th of December, 2018. The government went on to prequalify the 16 original companies reducing the number to 14.
Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah earlier on explained to Citi Business News that transparent processes were used to arrive at the number.
“The objective of the prequalification exercise was 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,” he said.
According to Nana Damoah, the government is on track to award 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.”
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.