A WEALTH OF DISCOVERY

Ghana 2018 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Joe Mensah, Managing Director of Kosmos Energy, on remaining true to core competencies, competing for investment, and the importance of preventative maintenance.

Joe Mensah
BIOGRAPHY
Joe Mensah has extensive business experience and is the Managing Director of Kosmos Energy. He has over 30 years of work experience with IBM, and is a Yale graduate. In addition, he has served on the AmCham board since 2011.

What are the major recent highlights for Kosmos Energy?

Kosmos created an industry for the country. Since it came in and discovered oil in 2007, the industry has gone from just a few hundred people to employing more than 7,000 today. The first discovery was Mahogany, which led to the partnership with Tullow, Anadarko, and Sabre Oil, whose interest was later acquired by Petro SA. With the support of Ghana National Petroleum Company and the Ghanaian government, the partnership developed the Jubilee Field, which produced first oil in 2010, followed by the Tweneboa, Enyenra, and Ntomme (TEN) field, which first produced oil in August 2016. At Kosmos, our core competency is exploration. Since our initial discovery offshore Ghana in 2007, we have expanded into several other countries along the Atlantic Margin. We have also made significant gas discoveries in both Senegal and Mauritania. With our development partner, BP, we are pursuing the Tortue LNG project, which will develop a world-class resource in both countries. We are expecting a final investment decision in 2018, with first gas expected in 2021. We continue to explore offshore in Mauritania and Senegal, with plans to drill additional wells in both countries. We also have a presence in São Tomé and carried out one of Kosmos' largest 3D seismic surveys in São Tomé in 2017. Our asset portfolio grew most recently through an agreement with Trident Energy to acquire an interest in three exploration licenses, as well as Hess Corporation's interest in the adjacent Ceiba and Okume oil fields offshore in Equatorial Guinea. All in all, Kosmos is in a great position and continues to expand its portfolio.

What measures would you like to see from the Ghanaian government?

We are grateful for the quick approval of the Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan, which will enable us to invest in the asset and eventually increase production for the benefit of Ghana. There remains considerable follow-on exploration potential offshore and our company, among others, would like to play a role in the next series of major oil and gas discoveries. For this next wave of exploration to take place in Ghana, for the next Jubilee field to be found, the industry and government will need to work together to negotiate mutually beneficial contracts that reflect the broader industrial context. This is the third straight year of lower oil prices, and a full recovery is still likely some time off. Every project in the industry must compete for investment.

What are the implications of the TEN field ruling on the upstream sector?

They are quite significant. We had only drilled 11 wells out of a planned 24 in the TEN field. Everything was put on hold pending a final decision, and it was not good for the industry or the country. With the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast finally resolved and the approval of the Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan, we expect to re-start drilling in Ghana in early 2018, which will help us increase production at both fields.

What lessons have you learned from the turret issue?

We continue to emphasize the need to operate and maintain the floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) unit in accordance with international industry maintenance and integrity standards. Our focus on preventive maintenance and monitoring critical components is essential to ensuring the long-term integrity of our facilities and systems. Finally, the FPSO is a complex facility and, like many similar production and storage units, there is a need to plan and ensure there is a robust and comprehensive insurance program in place.

What are your expectations for 2018?

2018 will be a busy and exciting year. It will be busy because there is plenty to be done with the Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan now approved. We expect to complete the remediation of the turret and plan to drill wells at the TEN and Jubilee fields. Kosmos and its partners plan to invest approximately USD1.5 billion in 2018.