Aker Energy is waiting on regulatory reforms to be pushed through in Ghana before making adjustments to its scheme to develop the offshore Pecan oilfield, where its plan has recently come unstuck.

The Norwegian independent does not, however, have to return to the drawing board with the integrated plan of development and operations (PDO) despite its intention to target an area-wide Greater Pecan development proving overly ambitions given current in-country regulations.

Last week, parent company Aker ASA revealed that Aker Energy’s strategy for the development on its operated Deepwater Tano-Cape Three Points (DWT-CTP) block has had to change, after its holistic approach to incorporating potential future discoveries in its Greater Pecan PDO proved optimistic.

Asked it Aker Energy must now re-write its PDO, Aker Energy chief executive Jan Arve Haugan told Upstream on the sidelines of the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town on Wednesday: “No, the PDO is there – the document is more or less completed.

“But we are going to see how we can adjust the size and scale of everything - but (only) when we see the regulatory reform.

“So, when we see that, then we will figure out what we have to do, what can we do and what should we do. Then, together with the government of Ghana, we will announce the timeline going forward.”

Aker Energy had assumed a measure of regulatory reform in its PDO, but these did not transpire to the extent it may have wished or expected.

“I think it’s probably not correct to say that we have to go back to the drawing board, but obviously, I would say, you need to tailor make the suit to the body,” Haugan continued.

“We will try to adjust the cost level first of all and also wait for the regulations to be relaxed.”

Aker Energy has been in the market for a lengthy period for a floating production, storage and offloading unit for Greater Pecan, with Dutch player SBM Offshore and Yinson of Malaysia said to have been the final two in the running.

Under the PDO that was submitted, the FPSO was to be designed to handle 110,000 barrels per day of oil, 110 million cubic feet per day of gas and 200,000 bpd of produced water with a storage capacity up to 1.6 million barrels.

Asked if the planned size of the flaoter will now have to be revised downwards, Haugen was non-committal, although adding: “I think that that is one of the issues that we need to look at.”

“We do believe that the areal solution should be the right thing to do, but it is up to the Ghanaian authorities do they use our toolbox, will they use our skills.”

Until recently, Aker Energy was still targeting sanction at Greater Pecan this year. However, as Upstream has previously reported, there were suggestions in the market that it would be delayed until next year, which could push out first oil from 2022 to 2023.

Aker ASA chief executive Oyvind Eriksen admitted late last week that the current scenario was likely to lead to a delay in sanction. Haugan was unwilling to speculate on any new sanction date target.

“The likelihood of a delay is dependent on when the government of Ghana submits the regulatory updates to the Parliament. And then the Parliament has a process where it will deliberate new regulations. So, we cannot foresee the process that far ahead,” he told Upstream.

“We are working on the schedules… We are putting up what we have – a solution, a PDO, the technology, the skills – and based on that, we will adjust our schedules.”

In a presentation at AOW on Wednesday, Haugan said: “In our view we are pretty confident as we speak about our understanding of the subsurface and knowing enough about the project to go ahead. But to do this we are constantly looking at the most important parameters that we have in our mandate, and that is to continue to reduce cost and to increase the recovery rate.

“We have the experience and the competence brought in from the Norwegian continental shelf to support us.”

He added: “We believe we have the toolbox, we have the skills and in particular the technology drive, and now it is now up to the government to decide how this toolbox and the skills can be applied to the Pecan field.”