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Exploration & production

We have over 20 years’ experience in exploration and production (E&P). During this time we have successfully developed and managed a range of projects, in geographies as diverse as the Philippines, West Africa and the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

Today, our upstream assets include E&P licences from which we produce around 32,000 barrels per day equivalent of oil and gas in West Africa, Eastern Europe and the Americas.

A key project is the Sankofa integrated oil & gas development, offshore Ghana. Originally discovered by Vitol in 2009 with the Sankofa-1X exploration well, oil production came on stream 3 months early in May 2017 and ramped up to a peak gross rate of around 57,000  barrels a day in November 2019. Gas sales commenced in August 2018, with capability to deliver a gross daily rate of approximately 200 million cubic feet into the domestic gas infrastructure. The World Bank-backed development represents the largest domestic gas to power project currently in Africa. In April 2019, Vitol and our partner Eni has exploration success with the Akoma-1x gas condensate discovery in Block 4 offshore Ghana. In July 2019, Vitol and our partner Eni was awarded an E & P license to explore in Block WB03, one of five blocks put out for tender in the Tano Basin, offshore Ghana.

Our E&P team comprises highly experienced asset managers and senior technical staff with many years of industry experience managing sub-surface and project risk.

In addition to managing our upstream assets, the team works closely with the rest of the business, providing complementary advisory services and technical expertise to initiatives involving energy reserves and similar assets.

Further information regarding Sankofa and the Ghana OCTP environmental and social impact assessment can be found in the following; ESHIA – Ghana OCTP  Block Phase 1, ESHIA -Ghana OCTP Block Phase 1 Annex, ESHIA – Ghana OCTP Block Phase 2, ESHIA – Ghana OCTP Block Phase 2 Annexes, IESC E&S Monitoring Report May 2019.  Read further information on the IFC.

Read more about our projects and involvement, past and present, around the globe.


In 2012 Vitol signed an agreement with the Government of Ghana, GNPC and Eni to develop the significant non-associated gas discoveries made in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) Block located 63km in the Tano Basin.  The Sankofa Project, which is developing the Sankofa and Gye Nyame group of fields, will access approximately 1.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas-in-place and around 500 million barrels of oil-in-place supplying enough gas to supply Ghana’s thermal power sector to 2036 and beyond.

This is the first project to primarily harness an African country’s natural resources for its own development. It represents the largest Foreign Direct Investment, of circa US$ 8 billion, in Ghana since independence and will facilitate the economic development of the economy by providing a reliable source of environmentally cleaner and more efficient fuel for the country.

The project furthermore benefits from the support of the IFC and the World Bank, which described it as a ‘top priority’ for Ghana and has provided the largest guarantees in its history to the development.

Eni, through its subsidiary company Eni Ghana Exploration and Production Limited, is the operator of the OCTP license with a 44.44% interest, Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited holds a 35.56% interest and state company, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has a 20% interest.

For information about VUGL’s (part of the Vitol Group) material payments to the Ghanaian government please see here for the 2018 payments and here for the 2017 payments.

Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited’s report on OCTP Project emissions can be viewed here.


From 1998 until April 2010, Arawak Energy held a 37.17% non-operated interest in Commonwealth Gobustan Limited (CGL), a joint venture company holding an 80% stake in the Exploration, Development and Production Sharing Agreement (EDPSA) covering the South West Gobustan oil and gas fields. In April 2010 Arawak Energy took over operatorship of CGL and now owns 100% of the company.

The South West Gobustan EDPSA consists of three separate onshore blocks covering a total area of 600 square kilometers, and is located 50 kilometers from the capital city, Baku. The hydrocarbon reservoirs in this area are primarily Pliocene sandstones of the “Productive Series” as well as underlying Oligocene and Miocene sandstones. Additional exploration potential exists in deeper Cretaceous and Jurassic carbonate reservoirs. Drilling targets as mapped on existing 3D and 2D seismic data range in depth from 250 meters to 4,500 meters.


Arawak Energy currently owns a producing block in Kazakhstan. In 2011 final government approval was granted for the acquisition of Maersk Oil’s 60% interest in the Saigak field; Arawak thereby becoming 100% owners of this license and the operator of the field. This block is located in the west of the country in the Pre-Caspian Basin, which is ranked among  the world’s most prolific basins.


In August 2014. Pemisa, a subsidiary of Vitol Mexico, acquired a development service contract from Pemex coinciding with the recent major national energy reform. There is now a path to migrate this fee-based service contract to a production sharing contract (PSC).  The contracted Miahuapan Block (158 square kilometers) is onshore on the Gulf side of Central Mexico, in one of the oldest producing basins of Mexico.

In its short time as operator of the block, Pemisa has established a new office and field operation, increasing production by more than 40%. Several prospective opportunities have been identified in the block, offering wide-scale resources.


Arawak Energy has a 50% non-operated interest in the Petroneft Tomsk appraisal Block 67 located in the West Siberian Basin, the FSU’s largest oil and gas producing region in terms of both area and recoverable reserves.

In June 2015, Arawak Energy closed the sale of its operated Komi assets located 1,500 kilometers northeast of Moscow in the prolific southern Timan-Pechora Basin. Over the last 20 years the company produced 43 million barrels of oil, bought out 3 partners, and through the sale of its 3 mature producing and 4 exploration blocks, crystallized substantial value to focus on new opportunities.


Arawak Energy holds a 50% interest in Geo-Alliance, the operator of 9 production permits and 7 exploration/pilot production permit areas, covering approximately 1,171 square kilometers, in Ukraine.

15 of Geo-Alliance’s permits are located in the prolific Dnieper-Donets basin, an area with a long history dating back to the 1950 commercial discovery of the giant 18 trillion cubic feet Shebelinka gas field. The basin has since had discovered reserves totaling 1.6 billion barrels of oil and 59 trillion cubic feet of gas.

In 2016, Geo-Alliance’s average gas production exceeded 675 thousand cubic metres per day and it’s average oil and condensate production exceeded 1000 barrels per day. Most of the production volumes are from the 86 square kilometer gas-condensate Lutsenkivske field, in multiple stacked sandstone reservoirs of the Carboniferous age, at depths reaching beyond 5,000 meters.

The producing fields are serviced by a well-developed gas transportation infrastructure. Geo-Alliance owns 60 kilometers of pipeline connecting its producing wells to proprietary gas treatment and storage facilities, which are tied into the Ukrainian gas transmission network. A new LPG plant was commissioned in December 2016.

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