Government will continue to resource the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to enable it meet the country’s financial obligations in an efficient manner and to maintain and increase the GNPC’s level of participation in petroleum operations, the Minister for Energy, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei has said.
According to him, participating in oil exploration, development and production comes with an obligation to contribute to the costs incurred during the process since without these contributions the bulk of revenues that are currently being received would not be earned and there would not be enough and sustained revenue inflow to fund the other needs of the country.
Taking his turn at the meet-the-press series last Thursday, the Minister said given all of the programmes and projects that the government intends to implement, there is the need to sustain investments to increase and sustain oil and gas production and continue to add up to petroleum reserves.
“In this direction the Government will continue to resource GNPC to enable it to meet our existing financial obligations in an efficient manner and to maintain and increase our level of participation in petroleum operations”, he said.
Dr. Oteng-Adjei noted that countries are today strengthening their national oil companies to be the cash cows of their economies and Government supports the goal of GNPC to become lead Operator in order for Ghana to increase its revenue and other dividends from oil.
He said funding GNPC to increase its stakes in oil blocks will enable the country to take the commanding heights of the oil and gas production process and strengthen the sector to ensure that the bulk of the revenue comes to Government, instead of going to international oil companies.
“We continue to do this in a disciplined manner as laid down by law by ensuring that programs and budgets of GNPC are always submitted to the Minister of Energy, who in collaboration with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning submits it to Parliament for approval”, he added.
He used the occasion to correct some wrong impressions being created that GNPC has encroached upon the roles of others, going as far as issuing blocks which should be in the domain of the Petroleum Commission, therefore stifling development in the area.
“GNPC does not issue licenses for blocks. GNPC’s discussions with international oil companies are only in keeping with its legal mandate to partner entities who intend to operate in Ghana. The role of licensing continues to rest with the Government of Ghana and the Petroleum Commission. No blocks can be issued without the final approval of Parliament”, he stated emphatically.
Communications Unit, Ministry of Energy