The Petroleum Commission said it has no intention of shutting down Saltpond oil fields.
The area which has been described as one of the oldest oil fields in the country has witnessed some significant drop in oil production in recent times.
The Director of Special Services at the Petroleum Commission, Kweku Boateng told JoyBusiness some companies have expressed interest in using the latest technology to prospect for oil in that area.
Mr Boateng said, “The previous government took a decision that the field should be decommissioned and GNPC was tasked to lead the process of decommissioning. However, recently we have received some proposals from certain companies that claim that there are interesting prospects over there.”
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) last year, called on the government to urgently decommission the fields for lack of activity in the area and to protect the country’s oil revenues from slipping into unproductive activities.
According to the committee, the continuous use of oil revenues in the payment of emoluments of redundant staff, coupled with maintenance-related costs of the facilities offshore, is a drain which must not be allowed to continue.
The 2017 half-year report of the committee – which has oversight responsibility on the prudent use of oil revenues – estimated that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) spent about US$74,192.57 for these activities between January and June 2017.
PIAC believes that the continued use of oil revenues to cater for an idle field did not reflect judicious use of the resources and recommended to the GNPC to speed up efforts to completely decommission the plant.
The Saltpond Oil Field was discovered in 1970 after the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) licensed Signal-Amoco Consortium to operate in Ghana’s territorial waters.
The initial appraisal of the field showed that the well would produce 3,600 barrels per day (570 m3/d) of oil.
The oil field is located 65 miles (105 km) west of Ghana’s capital, Accra, in the Central region of Ghana.
It is located about 13km off the coast of Saltpond in the northern-central area of the Takoradi Arch, in water depth of 80 feet.