"Accountants in the country need to upgrade their knowledge about the oil and gas industry so as not to be marginalised from emerging opportunities in the sector," the CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG), Mr. Akwasi Asante, has said.
"As an institution, we are asking government to ensure that all governing councils in the oil sector, as well as other sectors, that require accounting and finance brains should have members from the Institution," Asante told B&FT on the sidelines of a three-day ongoing oil and gas conference organised by ICAG.
The conference, which has attracted over 100 participants, aims at providing the Institute an opportunity for its members to interact with a cross-section of professionals including lawyers, tax experts and accountants as well as politicians, civil societies and executives in the oil and gas industry.
In a presentation, Mr. Peter Osei-Sasu, Chief Accountant of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), briefed participants about the history of oil exploration in the country.
Other issues relating to the petroleum legal regime, which addressed the petroleum contracts and how it dealt with the utilisation of the Jubilee Field, were highlighted.
”Accounting in the oil and gas industry is quite different from the everyday accounting that we are used to. There are new dynamics developing every time, which we need to be abreast with .in order to be able to participate""effectively in the industry," Osei-Sasu said.
Oil production from the Jubilee Field is expected to start by the end of this year with an initial daily output of 120,000 barrels, which will ramp up to 240,000bopd by 2013 after the completion of a second phase of field development.
Issues of local content have dominated discussions and government has prepared a bill on it which is expected to be passed into law soon.
The bill seeks to open up opportunities for locals to participate at all levels of the industry, but focuses strongly on the downstream where relatively smaller initial capital outlays provide local entrepreneurs with the best opportunities.
Another bill currently before parliament is the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill.