Vanco Energy Co has recently commenced drilling at a block off the country’s western coast, while Vitol Group is planning to begin exploration at a block south-east of Jubilee later 2009, Michael Aryeetey, senior geologist at the GNPC said.

While the majority exploration has taken place off Ghana’s western coast, near its border with the Ivory Coast, GNPC anticipates the eastern region to yield finds too.

Afren Plc has received an exploration license on the eastern coast near Togo. “We are very sure that we will make a find there, the geography is similar to Nigeria,” Aryeetey said.

Central Region

Off Ghana’s central coast, Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum Ltd. has been given consent to explore around Saltpond, where Ghana’s sole oil rig presently pump about 700 barrels a day for domestic use, Aryeetey said.

The corporation, which keeps a minimum of 10% of each exploration block, eventually plans to begin searching for oil by itself, he said. “Once we begin to receive funds from our stake in Jubilee and other discoveries, we’ll have money to take a block and explore,” he said.

Ghana, expects that increased oil revenue will help prop up a faltering economy, which has seen a depreciating domestic currency increase annual inflation to 20.5% in March 2009.