Tullow Oil thinks big as Africa plans take shape

TULLOW OIL IS on track to pump first oil from the Jubilee development off Ghana, in the fourth quarter of the year, with company boss Aidan Heavey saying it expects to get the nod for its purchase of Heritage Oil's Ugandan assets in the next few weeks.

In a management update, the company also said its financial performance so far this year was in line with expectations and that the outlook for 2010 is "very positive."
Tullow aims to pump 120,000 bopd from Jubilee within six months of first production.
Once Kampala approves the Heritage deal, Tullow will be able to press on with work on the US$10bn development of reserves in Uganda's Lake Albert rift basin.
In January, Tullow exercised its pre-emption rights to halt Heritage's planned sale of 50 per cent stakes in blocks 1 and 3A to Italian giant Eni.
Tullow, sole owner of a third block between blocks 1 and 3a, plans to bring in China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Total as equal partners in the three oil blocks once the deal with Heritage has closed.
Chief executive Aidan Heavey said recently that Uganda was happy with Tullow's documentation and all indications pointed to Uganda giving its approval in the next few weeks, after several delays.
"It's really between the government and Heritage to come up with whether or not there's capital gains tax due or not and those discussions we believe are going on currently," he said.
Tullow's financial performance for the 1 January to 12 May period was in line with expectations.
The company added it has strengthened its balance sheet by completing a US$1.1bn equity placing.
Tullow is maintaining production guidance for this year at between 55,000 to 57,000 boepd.
The company is also preparing to spud wells in Liberia, Sierra Leone, French Guyana and Guyana to test the extension of the Jubilee play in the Equatorial Atlantic region.

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