Oil and gas are likely to play an ever more prominent role in Ghana’s fast-growing economy following new discoveries both in the Jubilee field and the Tano Basin.
Italian giant Eni, made a major discovery last month in the offshore Cape Three Points block, some 50 kilometres from the coast. Eni is continuing to drill other wells to confirm the feasibility of commercial development, but the production test revealed that this new well is capable of producing about 5,000 high quality barrels of oil per day (bpd).
Back in July, Tullow Oil announced another discovery in the same area.
These developments appear to have excited the country’s leadership, notably President John Dramani Mahama, who announced in New York last week that Ghana’s daily oil production would reach 500,000 barrels by the end of 2013.
In the first half of this year, Ghana’s production was at 63,000 bpd, but it has since risen as various technical hurdles are overcome. The country is expected to be producing more than 90,000 bpd by the close of the year.
A daily production of half a million barrels would instantly propel Ghana into the league of big African producers, placing it sixth behind Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya and Egypt.
The President’s projection, however, appears rather optimistic as earlier statements from Tullow Oil Ghana indicated a much lower figure for 2013, of around 120,000 bpd.
With elections scheduled for December this year in Ghana, oil has continued to take centre stage in the two main parties’ political campaigns. While the ruling National Democratic Congress is spreading a message of prosperity aided by well-managed oil revenues, the opposition New Patriotic Party is drawing voters’ attention to the fact that Ghana’s economy has failed to hit the targeted growth of 9.1 percent for 2012, despite the oil revenues.