Ghana should set reasonable expectations for the benefits it will receive from commercial oil production, on track to start up late this year, the local head of energy firm Tullow Oil said on Monday.
"Ghana does not yet have an oil industry… it only has an oil field," Dai Jones said on the sidelines of an energy conference that included an exhibition of Ghanaian and foreign companies competing for oil sector services contracts.
Tullow is the operator of Ghana’s 800 million-1.2 billion barrel offshore Jubilee field, which is expected to launch Ghana into the club of West African oil-exporter nations when output starts at the end of the year.
Ghana’s government is hoping the field will drive 20 percent economic growth in 2011 and help lift the country out of the low-income bracket of countries such as Afghanistan and Haiti and into the middle-income ranks of Iran or Egypt.
"We are concerned especially when the officials compare Ghana to Nigeria and Angola, which have several oil fields and have an oil industry. So we need to manage the expectations well," Jones said.
Initial output from Jubilee is expected start in the fourth quarter, Jones confirmed. Initial production will reach 120,000 barrels per day, rising to 150,000 bpd within months and potentially peaking at 250,000 bpd by 2013.
Jones said Tullow’s investment in Ghana could last 30 to 40 years. He added that Tullow had already contracted $65 million worth of logistical services from local firms.