Tullow Oil has satisfied most of the environmental processes demanded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ahead of being granted the formal permit to pump oil from the Jubilee Field, an official of the EPA has said.

Mr. Kojo Agbenor-Efanam, Senior Programme Officer of the EPA, told the Times yesterday that Tullow Oil had conducted seismic surveys and drilling exploration, and was currently at the tail end of developing its infrastructure for a smooth pumping process to begin.

He said EPA was hopeful that Ghana would realise its dream of pumping its first oil in the last quarter of this year, as scheduled.

Mr. Agbenor-Efanam said the EPA had issued permits for all these processes after being satisfied with the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) submitted by the company.

He, however, said that although Tullow Oil had discovered another field known as the Tweneboa Field, “it cannot go ahead to pump oil from there because the necessary processes of acquiring documentation to pump oil have not been exhausted.”

The Senior Programme Officer said apart from Tullow Oil, which is closer to obtaining operating permit other companies have one permit or the other depending on their level of exploration and development.

Oil exploration and drilling go through several processes where permits are granted to companies to operate at every point in the process.

The officer went through the process of permits issuance. The EPA, he said, issues permits to companies immediately they enter into agreements with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

That permit, allows the company to conduct service surveys to determine its prospects and quantity of oil available on the field allocated to it.

After determining the viability of an oil find, another permit is needed to embark on exploration drilling where many wells were drilled to find out the extent to which the oil is covered under the sea are drillings are done in deep waters of between 800 and 2,000 metres depth.

Ghana, which discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2007, has seen the influx of many oil companies exploring various areas for the highly needed commodity.

In all, about 16 oil companies have entered into various partnerships to explore oil in 12 fields.

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