Potential investors in oil and gas in Ghana’s burgeoning petroleum industry can now heave a sigh of relief as government plans to lift the moratorium on allocation of oil blocks.
Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has announced that plans are far advanced to open up the space for more investors to explore oil and gas in Ghanaian territories.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like at this point to announce that at the end of this year, our government will undertake the first bidding round for the allocation of new acreages in line with our strategy of pursuing an aggressive exploration drive. This will ensure that we increase the potential for replacing our declining reserves, create opportunities for local and international investors and for improving on the well-being of our people,” Mr Agyarko said on Monday in Houston, Texas, the United States of America, at the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).
The minister, who led Ghana’s team to the OTC, was opening a pavilion allocated for the country. It was Ghana’s first pavilion in its 10 years of participating in the OTC, which brings major industry players across the globe together to share knowledge and technology for an industry that is the livewire of major economies.
He extended invitations to Ghana’s partners in the oil and gas industry as well as other investors to participate and take “advantage of our highly de-risked environment for our mutual benefit.”
Ghana halted the allocation of oil blocks following the dispute over its maritime boundary with La Côte d’Ivoire, with that French-speaking neighbour laying claim to part of Ghana’s oil-rich territorial waters. This led to the matter being settled at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany last year September.
Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2008 at Offshore West Cape Three Points in the Western Region through a Houston-based company – Kosmos Energy – after several failed attempts by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Subsequently, several discoveries have been made but only three oilfields are up and running. Mr Boakye Agyarko indicated that the oil business in Ghana is very lucrative, with the supply of gas from three running projects to fuel power generation.
“Today, about half of Ghana’s electricity is generated from thermal sources largely with gas and dominated by production from Ghana’s three world-class production assets.
As we work to grow reserves, as a people, we must strive to deepen the positive impact of petroleum in the nation’s development agenda,” the energy minister said.
He underscored that the country cannot be complacent with its current production level of 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. “We are working hard to increase production in the near future and to position Ghana as a major oil producing country,” according to him.
Mr Agyarko urged the Ghanaian companies and organisations participating in the conference to register their presence by building the right strategic partnerships with other global players in the industry.