The Russian government has indicated it s preparedness to make available to Ghana, classified documents on oil and gas reserves in the Voltaian Basin, if the government officially applies for them.
The documents containing geological findings of the basin, were prepared by geologists of the then Soviet union in the 1960’s during the Presidency of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but were taken away after the 1966 coup d’etat.
The seismic survey conducted by the Russian team on the basin covered a total area of 103,600sq. km that stretches from mid-country to the northern sector, and is believed to have potential for onshore oil and gas resources.
Russia indicated its preparedness to hand over the documents when the Minister of Energy, Dr. Joseph Oteng-Adjei, paid a visit to Russian recently.
Disclosing this to Times newspaper, Edward Bawa, the spokesman for the Minister, said that the content of the documents could possibly open a new chapter for onshore oil exploration and mineral prospecting in the Voltaian Basin.
He said already, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) knowing the prospects of the basin, had opened up the licensing of exploration blocs in the area, alongside the offshore sector, ever since drilling of 10 boreholes showed traces of oil.
Mr. Bawa, highlighting on the visit, said the minister was in Russia at the invitation of Lukoil to get a first hand observation of the system and processes employed by the Russian exploration firm which wants to expand operation in Ghana.
He said the minister and his delegation had the opportunity to visit the state Duma, Russia’s legislative body and the operation sites of Lukoil and met with high government officials.
Mr. Bawa said it was during one of such meetings that Mr. Yuri Trutnev, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, disclosed the existence of the documents and Russia’s preparedness to hand them over to Ghana if the country showed interest.
He said Mr. Trutnev explained that the documents found their way to Russian after Dr. Nkrumah was ousted before the final findings could be presented to him.
Mr. Bawa said Dr. Oteng-Adjei assured his Russian counterpart of Ghana’s readiness to apply and get the documents for the content to be perused.
The spokesman said Dr. Oteng-Adjei, also assured the Russian that Ghana was ready to work with all companies irrespective of their countries of origin provided they would respect the country’s laws.
Mr. Bawa said the minister also pledged Ghana’s commitment to dealing transparently and working with investors to ensure that the local content policy of the government was implemented and the targets achieved.
He said as part of its contribution to support Ghana build its needed human capital in the oil and gas sector, Lukoil has offered ten scholarships to Ghanaians to study in Russian Universities.
It also offered its rigs in Russia to Ghanaian students offering courses in oil and gas to be used for their internship.