The Ghanaian government said on Saturday that it is studying a report on the request by the Kosmos Energy to sell its interests at the Ghana's first offshore oil field to Exxonmobil
and would soon announce its decision.

A statement issued here by Minister for Energy Dr Joe Oteng- Adjei confirmed that the management of Kosmos Energy wrote to the Ghanaian government on June 28 this year, requesting it to give its consent to a sale and purchase agreement it had signed with ExxonMobil as part of its efforts to offload its shares in the Jubilee Fields.

Kosmos Energy, a Texas-based oil and gas exploration company, discovered the Jubilee Oil Field off the Ghana's coast in 2007 and commercial production of oil in the field has been expected to begin later this year.

Earlier last month, the Ghanaian government categorically rejected the proposal to sell its stake of 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in the oil and gas field to the ExxonMobil Corporation.

However, the minister said in the statement that the Ghanaian government subsequently set up a committee to study the request and to give its advice to the government accordingly.

The committee has since finished its work and submitted its report to the government, which is studying it and would soon announce its official position on the matter, the statement added. Civil society groups and business community have been fighting against Kosmos's intended sale of its stake to Exxonmobile and putting pressure on the government to acquire the stakes through Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) at all cost.

In an effort to calm down the agitation, the energy minister said in the statement that "the government wishes to assure the public that it would do whatever it takes within the law to protect the national interest at all times".

As one of the stakeholders in Ghana's oil fields, Kosmos holds 30.875 percent of stakes in the field off the West Cape and 18 percent of stakes in the Tano deep sea block and its partners includes Tullow of Britain and the Texas-based Anadarko, U.S. biggest independent oil company.