Government intention for the energy sector is to build synergies and network with various institutions in order to achieve energy aspirations to benefit the citizens.
Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko speaking at the first quarterly meeting with Chief Executive Officers in the petroleum said: “As a sector, we will build synergies and collaborate among the various institutions to achieve the aspirations and visions of the government.
He added, “I am confident that at the end of this forum, we will all leave here with a clearer sense of direction for the effective and integrated development of our oil and gas endowment to play its pivotal role of transforming Ghana’s economy into a middle income status.”
The meeting among other objectives discussed the new petroleum policy and also deliberated on matters considering the petroleum industry.
The meeting, Mr. Agyarko explained was“to provide the platform to exhort ourselves on the scope of the new Petroleum Policy, set annual targets and goals, identify potential debilitating challenges and devise strategies to mitigate them.”
He said the forum, among others will ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of policies and directives from the Energy Ministry saying, “The petroleum section of the country energy policy is being carved out for this discussion.”
The forum was aimed at, among other things, assisting in monitoring and evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of policies and directives from the ministry, with a view to collectively discussing critical success factors and targets of the sector.
The purpose of the maiden forum was to provide the platform for performing CEOs to exhort themselves on the scope of the new petroleum policy, set annual targets and goals, identify potential debilitating challenges and devise strategies to mitigate them.
Highlighting the vision and goals for the sector, Mr. Agyarko: explained, “our plans for the upstream sector this year, will pursue aggressive basin promotion, especially in the Central, Eastern, outer continental shelf and Voltaian basins to attract competent companies, particularly majors, into these basins to increase exploration activities.
“Commercial discoveries from such exploration will not only increase the country’s reserves but also create the needed jobs and significantly increase revenue to the state.”
Mr. Agyarko indicated that govenment intended to implement open and transparent public competitive tender processes in the award of petroleum blocks.
“It is our target this year to conduct the first bidding rounds for the award of exploration and production rights to successful companies,” he said.
He, urged the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Petroleum Commission (PC) to work hard to realise the set targets to improve on investor confidence in the petroleum sector.
A third agenda the ministry intended to pursue this year, he said, was the promotion of the development and commercialisation of indigenous gas resources.
“The ministry considers the gas industry as a major catalyst to the country’s industrial transformation and, as such, no stone should be left unturned in realising this dream.
“Recommendations from the Gas Master Plan Implementation Committee, on which all the CEOs are represented, will be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval and implemented to the letter,” he said.
The downstream sub-sector, if well managed, Mr. Agyarko said, would be the major game changer in the socio-economic development of the country adding that advancing the establishment of a petroleum hub, would be one of the government’s strategic anchor initiatives that would serve as a new pillar of growth in the Ghanaian economy.
The project, he explained, would accelerate the growth of Ghana’s petroleum downstream sub-sector and make it a major player in the economy.
“The petroleum hub project will increase the presence of major international oil trading and storage companies, create regional trading champions and encourage joint ventures between local and international companies for foreign direct investments, technology and knowledge transfer and wealth creation,” he said.
He said government realised the need for a policy to promote LPG and further aggressively pursue an increase in access towards the goal of 50 percent access by 2030.
“The policy is to also provide direction and a framework for safety legislation and operational standards in the industry,” he said.
He indicated government’s commitment to churn out the maximum benefits from the oil and gas industry to the good people of Ghana and generations yet unborn.
“This, I strongly believe, can only be achieved through a sustained and coordinated exploitation of the country’s hydrocarbon resources and the prudent management of the downstream sub-sector.
“I am confident that at the end of this forum, we will all leave here with a clearer sense of direction for the effective and integrated development of our oil and gas endowment to play its pivotal role of transforming Ghana’s economy into a middle income status,” he added.