Clontarf, Petrel resolve dispute with Ghana over Tano licence

Row involving Irish companies centred on an alleged rowback of decision to grant licence


Clontarf Energy and Petrel Resources have come to an agreement with the Ghanaian authorities over a disputed exploration licence.

The row centred on an alleged rowback by the government of a decision to grant the Irish companies a licence for the offshore Tano block.

Clontarf, which owns 60 per cent of the licence, and Petrel, with 30 per cent, believed they had reached an agreement that would lead to the award of a licence four years ago, and spent about $2 million in preparatory work on that basis.

However, in March this year, the Ghanaian government awarded a new licence to US company Camac, covering about one-third of the area that Petrel and Clontarf thought was theirs.

This prompted the Irish companies, founded by the industry veteran John Teeling, to issue legal proceedings.

However, following intensive talks, Petrel announced today that an agreement had been reached with the authorities on revised co-ordinates for the Tano licence.

“This solution is satisfactory for the company and brings the company’s interests in acreage closer to existing discoveries,” it said.

Petrel said it was agreed that “additional, contiguous acreage” will be added to preserve the size of the block, and a revised activity map had been circulated.

“All parties have committed themselves to, and are acting to complete, the ratification process in accordance with law, which requires cabinet and parliamentary approval,” the statement added.

As a result, the company said it did not intend to reapply to Ghana’s high court for further equitable relief but that it retained its right to reapply should it prove necessary.