The first Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) report on oil and gas covering 2009/2011 is expected to be produced by September this year, Dr. Steve Manteaw, Vice Chairman of the Initiative, said on Friday.
He was speaking at a one-day sensitization workshop on the GHEITI for assembly members from the six coastal districts of the Western Region at Axim.
The workshop was organized by the GHEITI Secretariat at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
The coastal districts are the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Nzema East Municipal Assembly, Shama District Assembly, Jomoro District Assembly, Ellembele District Assembly and the Ahanta West District Assembly.
Dr. Manteaw said the terms of reference for the exercise has been developed and a draft bill on GHEiTI was before the Minister of Finance and it would soon be put before Parliament.
He said when the bill is passed into law, EITI compliance would be mandatory for companies and government agencies.
Dr.Manteaw said the law will make full disclosure of payments and receipts compulsory and currently, the disclosure of such information was voluntary.
He said the law prescribes sanctions for companies and government agencies that do not comply.
Dr. Manteaw said the first consignments of Ghana’s crude oil were sent to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and the United States.
He said reports from those countries that Ghana’s crude oil is “Sweeter than the Brent of the United Kingdom which is produced in the Northern Seas”.
Ghana’s crude oil sells higher than that of the United Kingdom by four dollars, Dr. Manteaw said, and added that crude oil from the Saltpond oilfields was heavier and contained much sulphur, which made it difficult to refine.
He said the Petroleum Exploration Bill, when passed into law, would stop the refining of Ghana’s crude oil outside the country.
Dr Manteaw said crude oil would be refined in the country and sold on the domestic market first.
He said the second phase of the Jubilee oil fields would commence in the last quarter of this year.
Dr. Manteaw said the Chinabuo wells, which would be exploited, were estimated to hold one billion barrels of crude oil, and it is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of crude a day when it begins production.