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PHASE 1 (1896 – 1957)

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According to the “Ghana Geological Survey Bulletin No. 40” authored by Dr. Mohsin H. Khan, Senior Geologist with the Ghana Geological Survey, exploration for oil and gas in Ghana started in 1896 in Onshore Tano basin in today’s administrative Western Region. This was due to the presence of onshore oil and gas seepages found by early explorers in that area. Early wells were drilled without geological understanding and benefit of seismic data back then. Those early wells have scanty documentation.


Five wells were drilled by a company called the West Africa Oil and Fuel Company between 1896 and 1903 (WAOFCO – 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5). WAOFCO – 2, the first documented discovery well in the country, produced 5BOPD between 1896 & 1897. Total depth was 35metres.


Six wells were drilled by a French company called Société Française de Petrole, between 1909 and 1913 (SFP-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). SFP-1 struck oil at 10 – 17 metres depth and produced 7 BOPD. SFP-3, 4, 5 & 6 all had very good oil indications and/or flows at relatively shallow horizons, according to available records.


African and Eastern Trade Corporation (UAC) drilled two wells in onshore Tano between 1923 and 1925. These are AETC – 1 & 2.  Progressively, heavy oil, light oil and gas were encountered at various depths.


Gulf Oil Company acquired the onshore Tano license and drilled four (4) wells.

Two (2) onshore Gulf Oil wells were drilled within this phase. See table below.

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