The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) says claims of ownership of some of Ghana’s oil fields by neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire do not have merit and will not disturb the country’s oil production in anyway.
According to the GNPC, the boundaries between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire had been very clear and undisputed and any new claims to the contrary would have to be proven with facts.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye, who made this known Monday, said one year after beginning commercial production of oil, “I can confidently say that Ghana is on course towards sustainable oil and gas production”.
He said since the 2007 Jubilee Field discovery, there had been many other subsequent oil discoveries in the Western Region, adding that efforts were being made for the commercial development and production of the new discoveries in the next few years to enhance revenue from the ‘Black Gold’.
As at the end of 2011, Ghana had raked in $444 million from four liftings since the beginning of commercial oil production in November, 2010
Nana Asafu-Adjaye was speaking at the opening of the 63rd Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon, which is on the theme: “One year of oil and gas production: Emerging issues”.
The Institute of Continuing and Distance Education (ICDE) of the University of Ghana is organising the one-week annual forum, which offers participants from all over the country a unique opportunity to discuss pertinent issues of national importance.
The GNPC is the major sponsor of this year’s school, having dolled out GH¢100,000 to support the organisation of the event, and the huge capital injection was manifest in close-circuit television set mounted at the Great Hall of the university to give a touch of class to the opening ceremony.
Nana Asafu-Adjaye said currently, the oil production rate was below expectation due to some mechanical problems, dismissing suggestions that the delay in the gas project was the reason why the projected daily production rate of 120,000 barrels had not yet been reached.
He highlighted a number of old and new petroleum legal frameworks to debunk the perception that the commercial oil production was being undertaken outside the requisite legal remits.
He said the issue that should concern the nation should not be whether oil would be a blessing or curse for the nation because “it’s an imperative to make it a blessing for Ghana”.
Delivering the keynote address, the Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Professor Paul Collier, said potentially, the production of oil provided Ghana the finance for economic transformation.
He, however, advised the nation to ensure prudent economic governance, especially in the management of the oil revenue, bearing in mind the exhaustiveness of the natural resource.
Professor Collier further advised Ghana to direct substantial portion of its oil revenue in domestic investment and foreign investment for future gains, especially when the oil fortunes began to dwindle.
The chairman of the Council of State, Professor Kofi Awoonor, opened the New Year School and Conference on behalf of President John Evans Atta Mills after delivering his speech.
He said oil and gas represented the dawn of a new national development paradigm and promised to ensure the judicious utilisation of the oil revenue.
A Supreme Court Judge and Chairman of the University of Ghana Council, Professor Samuel Date-Bah, who chaired the opening ceremony, cautioned against the culture of rent seeking in the country’s oil industry because it had the tendency of undermining all the gains made.
In his welcoming address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, said oil had the potential to inspire prosperity or misery, and it was important to make the right decisions.
The Director of the ICDE, Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, stressed the need to devote substantial amount of the oil revenue for the development of the country’s education system.