Kosmos Makes Apology, Resumes Negotiations with Ghana

ACCRA, Ghana (Dow Jones), Mar. 23, 2010

U.S. oil company Kosmos Energy has apologized to the government of Ghana and negotiations are continuing over the sale of the company's stake in a massive oil field here, a senior minister said Tuesday.

Ghana Minister of Energy Joe Oteng-Adjei said Kosmos officials apologized to Ghanaian President John Atta-Mills in early March.

He didn't elaborate on what prompted the apology, but the Dallas-based exploration company has been embroiled in protracted negotiations over the sale of its stake in the vast Jubilee oil field to Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM).

"They sat down with the president and said they were sorry," Oteng-Adjei told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of an oil conference.

Last year Kosmos said it had entered into exclusive talks with Exxon over the sale of its Jubilee stake. People close to the deal said it would be worth around $4 billion.

But the minister of energy wrote to Exxon earlier this year saying the government would block the Kosmos-Exxon deal because of alleged missteps by Kosmos. The government accused Kosmos of cutting Ghana's state-run oil company out of discussions about the field's development and then sharing information about the field with potential buyers without government permission.

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