Kosmos' Ghana Oil Field Stake Sale Proceeding

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Jul. 15, 2009

Private equity backed Kosmos Energy is proceeding with plans to sell its stake in the large Jubilee oil field offshore Ghana despite securing $750 million in loans Tuesday to fund development, two people familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

Jubilee, with resources of around 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, could be the first of a number of discoveries that make the waters of Ghana and Ivory Coast a significant new oil province, say analysts.

A large number of major international and state-owned oil and gas companies are among potential buyers of this strategic asset,and Kosmos hopes to have a shortlist of bidders for their stake in the field ready by Friday, one of the people said.

Kosmos secured the $750 million debt facility Tuesday from a consortium of eight banks, which gives it "the financial resources necessary to fully develop the first phase of the Jubilee oil field," said W. Greg Dunlevy, Kosmos executive vice president and chief financial officer.

These funds are partly to cover costs already incurred in the development of Jubilee and partly "to show the world they don't have to sell," the other person said. The economic climate remains difficult and it's not possible to have any certainty that big deals like this will go through, the person added.

The relationship between Kosmos and the Ghanaian government has been prickly in recent times, but formal approval of the development plan submitted by Kosmos' partners in Jubilee, Tullow Oil PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Wednesday is a sign that those difficulties have been smoothed over, the first person said.

Jubilee's operator, Tullow, plans to produce first oil in the second half of 2010.  

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