Tullow Oil Raises £1bn

Tullow Oil, a company prospecting for oil in the country, has raised £1billion from its shareholders, mainly to finance projects for the commercial production of oil. In a publication in the March 7, 2010 issue of the Financial Times of the United Kingdom, the Chief Executive of Tullow Oil, Mr Aidan Heavey, expressed optimism about investor confidence in Ghana, saying that he saw no evidence that investor sentiment in Ghana had been dented. In apparent reference to the KOSMOS/Ghana government dispute which has generated speculation that the problem can impact negatively on foreign investment in Ghana, Mr Heavey said the dispute would not delay the production of the First barrels of oil schedule for the fourth quarter of this year. He said the proof of investor confidence in Ghana was reflected in the ease with which Tullow raised £1billion from shareholders in February this year, most of which was meant to finance projects in Ghana. In his advice to the investors, Mr Heavey said, “You do everything right at the start. Get the contacts right and make sure there is nothing said or done that is going to come back and hunt you.” Tullow attributes its successes in its two biggest oil discoveries of the past decade to the specialist expertise in the kind of geology that led to finding Ghana’s offshore oil field and the technological skills of its engineering teams. Mr Heavey said the company’s long-term approach to doing business in Africa and its focus on developing local skills and contributing to the welfare of host communities had been instrumental in its successes in Africa. He said Ghana, one of the countries in which Tullow Oil had made a big oil find, could expect a “tsunami of business”, with oil potentially adding $130 billion to the country’s economy if higher estimates of the energy potential was realized. Referring to Ghana, he said, “What you have is a country that has been looking to find oil or a long time. It has found it. It needs to get its systems in place. It has gone through a learning curve and it is doing it well. We have no complaints.” According to Mr Heavey,” our shareholders believe in Africa”, noting, however, that by contrast’, American investors were still wary of the excitement about energy prospects at the heart of the continent and “tend to stick offshore”, despite prospects which had opened up a new oil frontiers along the West African coast where the company had licences in five countries.