Mr Kwarteng Amaning Jr, a Petroleum Engineer with Tullow Ghana Limited, has said the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) cannot refine the crude oil being produced at the Jubilee Oil Field.
He said the crude oil was a premium quality, described internationally as “Sweet Light Oil,” and requires a refinery built to specification to be able to refine it.
Mr Amaning said TOR was built specifically to refine a type of crude oil that was of less quality to what is being produced at the Jubilee Field, adding that for TOR to be able to refine the Jubilee Field product, it must be retrofitted.
Mr Amaning Jr said this at a media interaction programme organized by Tullow for journalists in the Northern Region in Tamale at the weekend.
He said retrofitting TOR, or building a new refinery to the specification of the crude oil from the Jubilee Field, would cost about a billion dollars.
This, Mr Amaning Jnr said, did not make economic sense because the next time a different type of crude oil is discovered a new refinery would have to be built for it when you could get refineries elsewhere to refine the product.
He said the country was producing 70,000 barrels of crude oil per day, adding some technical exercises were ongoing to ultimately increase the output to the maximum 120,000 barrels per day.
He said by the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year, the country should achieve the 120,000 barrels per day target.
Mr Amaning Jr assured that Jubilee Partners were mindful of the impact of their operations on the environment adding that adequate measures had been put in place to prevent accidents.
Mr Gerhard Edem Mensah, the Communications Manager of Tullow, said oil exploration required a lot of expertise and appealed to Ghanaians to take advantage of the ancillary opportunities that the industry offered.
He said Tullow had drawn a comprehensive corporate social responsibility programme to enhance the livelihood of people living closest to its area of operation, especially the first six closest districts in the Western Region.
Ghana began production of oil from its Jubilee Oil Field in December last year.
The Jubilee Oil Field is operated by six companies and these are Tullow Ghana Limited, Kosmos Energy Ghana HC, Anadarko WCTP Company, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, EO Group Limited and Sabre Oil and Gas Limited.