Ghana’s crude oil production has dropped by 33% since 2019; Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy expect production growth in 2024 and beyond

For four consecutive years, annual crude oil production in Ghana has been on a decline. The country recorded its highest annual production in 2019 producing a total of 72.1 million barrels (mmbbls) across the three oil fields – Jubilee, Sankofa Gye Nyame (SGN) and Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN). Since then production has continually dropped. Available production data from the Petroleum Commission show that a total of 48.25 mmbbls of crude oil were produced in 2023 representing a 6.8% drop year-on-year and 33% decline since the historic production in 2019.

All the three oil fields recorded a marginal drop in production. Jubilee produced a total of 30.44 mmbbls in 2023 as compared to 30.52 mmbbls in 2022. Tullow attributes the drop in production primarily to water injection reliability challenges and Jubilee South East project starting up slightly later than planned. The water injection reliability issues were resolved in the fourth quarter of 2023, with upgraded capacity delivering record water injection rates and observable pressure response in the reservoirs, expected to benefit 2024 production and beyond.

Production at the SGN field dropped from 12.6 mmbbls in 2022 to 11.09 mmbbls in 2023, and TEN produced 6.72 mmbbls in 2023 declining from 8.61 mmbbls in 2022.

Why the decline in production?

Generally, the decline in production over the past years has been due to the lack of significant investment in exploration activities and the lack of development of new wells, which have led to heavy reliance on old wells which may be reaching their peak. The three producing fields have substantial oil reserves that are yet to be mined. The total oil reserve from the producing fields as at the end of 2022 was estimated at about 487.34 mmbbls, initially pegged at 526.95 mmbbls in 2021. The Jubilee field holds the largest share of the reserves with 318.30 mmbbls whilst SGN and TEN hold an estimated 95.64 mmbbls and 73.40 mmbbls respectively. Total gas reserve across these fields is estimated at 1,236.61 Bcf.

Source: Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber 2023 Report

Crude Oil Liftings and Proceeds

Out of the total crude oil produced in 2023, 47.87 mmbbls were lifted across the three producing fields. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on behalf of the State undertook ten liftings across the three oil fields amounting to approximately 9.60 mmbbls, which represents 20.1% of the total liftings and a marginal 2.1% increase of the 9.40 mmbbls lifted in 2022. The volume of Ghana’s liftings at the TEN and SGN fields increased to 1.99 mmbbls and 2.89 mmbbls respectively whilst lifting from the Jubilee field reduced by 16.6% to 4.71 mmbbls.

According to the Bank of Ghana’s Petroleum funds semi-annual reports, total proceeds from the ten liftings amounted to US$690.28 million. Other receipts comprising of corporate tax, surface rental and interest from petroleum holding funds amounted to US$372.04 million pushing the total petroleum receipts for 2023 to US$1.06 billion, a decrease from the US$1.43 billion recorded in 2022.

Gas Production in 2023

Gas production in 2023 across the three oil fields increased marginally to 255,171.97 mmscf from 253,555.1 mmscf produced in 2022. SGN produced the largest share of gas with a total of 127,203.02 mmscf comprising of 56,544.28 mmscf associated gas and 70,658.74 mmscf non-associated gas. Gas production at the Jubilee field increased by 13.8% to 77,900.05 mmscf whilst production at TEN decreased by 10% to 50,068.90 mmscf.

Out of the total gas produced, 35,753.47 mmscf was exported from the Jubilee and TEN to the Ghana National Gas Company and 69,286.85 mmscf was exported from SGN field to the Onshore Receiving Facility (ORF) for industrial consumption and power production. Additionally, 11,065.92 mmscf was used for fuel at the three production fields, 105,340.17 mmscf was reinjected for pressure support and 27,436.72 mmscf representing 10.8% of the total gas produced was flared.

Production Outlook and Field Development for 2024

The 2024 Benchmark crude oil output is estimated at 51.15 million barrels (139,754 barrels of crude oil per day) by the government of Ghana with the Ghana group’s share of the total Benchmark crude oil output estimated at 10.15 million barrels.

The success of the Jubilee South-East project by Tullow Oil and its venture partners which marked a material step up in Jubilee production surpassing 100 kbopd is expected to boost the country’s oil and gas production this year.

In their latest 2023 Full Year Results reports, Tullow Oil and Kosmos Energy expect production growth in 2024 and beyond. Tullow Oil expects oil production to average 48 kboepd in 2024 (39 kboepd at Jubilee field and 9 kboepd at TEN field) from 42.8 kboed recorded in 2023. Kosmos Energy reports a full year 2024 oil guidance of approximately 116,500 bopds gross (100,000 bopds at the Jubilee field and 16,500 bopds at the TEN field).

Five new wells (three producers and two water injectors) are planned to come onstream by first half of 2024 at the Jubilee field. The first water injector was brought on stream in January, and two producer wells were brought on stream in February with gross production currently averaging over 100 kbopd.

Later in the year, Tullow and its venture partners plan on taking a drilling break in Ghana with plans to resume in 2025. Existing well stock and upgraded water injection capacity would sustain production at Jubilee, and TEN decline to be effectively minimised through improved pressure support.

Tullow Oil and its venture partners hope to continue discussions with the Government of Ghana on the amended TEN Plan of Development (PoD) and long-term gas sales agreement.


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