Dr Joseph Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, on Tuesday said Ghana was on course to produce the first oil from the Jubilee Field in the last quarter of the year.
He said under phase one of the project, 120,000 barrels of oil would be produced a day and 120 million standard cubic feet of gas daily. Dr Oteng-Adjei who made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the third annual research conference of the Koforidua Polytechnic said: "Phase two of the Jubilee project starts in 2013 with production level of 240,000 barrels of oil per day and 240 million standard cubic feet of gas a day."
The three-day conference, being held on the theme: "Strengthening the Linkage between Theory and Practice," was meant to create an annual forum for polytechnics and other institutions to showcase some of their achievements in the course of the year and to educate the public about them. Dr Oteng-Adjei expressed the need for Ghana to maintain its traditional sources of income such as agriculture and not focus mainly on the oil and gas find.
He said Ghana needs to maintain and improve on basic scientific training in the tertiary institutions to boost agricultural production to break over reliance on other countries.
Dr Oteng Adjei observed that the oil and gas industry has challenges such as finance, human resource capacity and technology. He said the industry was highly capital intensive and required specialised skills such as petrol chemical professionals, geologists, geophysicists, palaeontologists, drilling, reservoir and production engineers and petroleum lawyers.
The Energy Minister said there was therefore the need for Ghana to step up capacity building in the tertiary institutions adding: "We need to prepare our students to take up the challenge." He identified the search for appropriate strategies for harnessing natural human resources to promote reasonable economic growth for the improvement of the living conditions of Ghanaians as one of the challenges facing Ghana.
"Our society, as a member of the global village is also going through the effects of rapid economic and political challenges that are taking place the world over."
He therefore called for the raising of the nation’s scientific and technological base to be able to cope with the effect of those challenges. Dr Oteng-Adjei said: "This requires that we evolve programmes and courses, which will enable our students, acquire relevant knowledge, skills and the right attitude which are vital for sustainable national development". He challenged the polytechnics to take the invitation of the oil discovery in Ghana and create a niche for themselves.
Dr Oteng- Adjei said though the Petroleum Upstream Sector provided limited job opportunities, ancillary jobs around the industry such as transportation, catering services, management and consulting had immense opportunities for the youth. He therefore tasked the polytechnics to run programmes tailored towards meeting the manpower needs that the booming industry would require.