PE-Backed Kosmos Energy Reaches Agreement with Ghana

Kosmos Energy, which is backed by private equity firms Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus, reached an agreement with the government of Ghana, and the country’s state oil company, to resolve issues around its corporate structure, Reuters reported. Kosmos, an oil exploration firm, owns 23.49% of Ghana’s Jubilee offshore oilfield. The firm has been attempting to sell its Ghana assets, but had to call off a $4 billion deal in August after resistance from Ghana National Petroleum Corp., Reuters said.

(Reuters) – Kosmos Energy, a privately owned oil exploration and production firm, said on Monday it has reached agreement with the government of Ghana and the country’s state oil company to “amicably resolve several issues” between them such as Kosmos’ corporate structure and debt facility.

Kosmos, backed by private equity firms Blackstone Group (BX.N) and Warburg Pincus [WP.UL], focuses on West Africa and owns a 23.49 percent stake in Ghana’s prized Jubilee offshore oilfield, which is operated by Britain’s Tullow Oil (TLW.L) and holds around 1.6 billion barrels of light crude.

Kosmos had been trying to sell its assets in Ghana, but the process has hit snags. In a saga that unnerved some potential investors, Kosmos in August called off what sources close to the deal said was a $4 billion pact to sell its stake to ExxonMobil (XOM.N) after resistance from Ghana National Petroleum Corp (GNPC), which wanted to raise its own holding.

Chinese oil giant CNOOC (0883.HK) later made a $5 billion joint bid with GNPC for Kosmos’ major oil fields in the West African state. However, in November, an official at GNPC said that Kosmos had for now shelved plans to sell its assets in Ghana.

“With first oil from the Jubilee Field flowing and these issues behind us, the government, GNPC and Kosmos have reaffirmed their positive and forward-looking relationship,” said Brian Maxted, Kosmos chief operating officer, in a press release.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)