By Angela Henshall
Dow Jones Newswires
LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Tullow Oil PLC's (TLW.LN) Jubilee field in Ghana is on target to produce its first oil in the fourth quarter this year, with the first cargo expected as early as December, said a senior executive at the oil company Tuesday.
"First oil is on schedule for the fourth quarter, so discovery to first oil in 40 months," Tullow's exploration manager for Gulf of Guinea Robin Sutherland said at The Africa Petroleum Conference in London.
"We feel it is a common mistake that oil companies make in neglecting their exploration roots," said Sutherland. "We have no intention in doing this, and 80% of our 2010 capital will be spent in Africa."
He said the company is on target for the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel to sail in May, and has already started well-completion activities.
Sutherland said the first stage development cost of the Jubilee field had remained within the original $3.1 billion budget. The field's output is expected to ramp-up to 120,000 barrels a day within six months of first oil produced.
Tullow has also developed its own transport company, including helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in order to access the site, Sutherland said.
Tullow is also in the process of developing oil fields in Uganda's Lake Albert basin and is in talks over licenses in two oil blocks on the Congolese side of the lake.
Tullow, Total SA (TOT: 59.02, -0.51, -0.86%) and Cnooc Ltd. want to form an operating company for the project in the Lake Albert basin. Each is expected to hold one-third of the project covering blocks 1, 2 and 3A, and the three are expected to inject at least $5 billion to develop fields in the blocks, according to people familiar with the situation.
Tullow is also still waiting for government approval of its proposed $1.5 billion takeover of the interests of Heritage Oil PLC (HOIL.LN) in two blocks in the country.
Earlier Tuesday Tullow said positive data from the Ugandan Kasamene-3 well encountered oil and proved the viability of this location as a future water injection point to support up-dip oil production.