Oil and gas analyst, Kwame Jantuah has advised the NPP government to increase the country’s capacity to refine more crude at a cheaper cost if it is to reduce the prices of fuel.
His comments follow the assurance by the Finance Minister Nominee, Ken Ofori Atta to consumers that there will be no immediate hikes in the prices of fuel and utility anytime soon.
According to Mr. Ofori Atta, the NPP government will consider the energy mix and proffer measures upon assumption of office as substantive minister.
”We will have to examine our energy mix and I think we’re likely going to get a little bit more from gas which will then help in giving us a chance to breath from that, so I don’t expect us to be increasing prices of fuel and ECG. We are looking actually to see how we can as we promised, bring some relief to Ghanaians,” Ken Ofori Atta asserted.
But Kwame Jantuah tells Citi Business News fuel prices could largely drop if Ghana refines its own crude.
In addition, he urged the new government to find sustainable means of shoring up gas supplies at lower costs.
“We also need stocks of crude, and it is a good thing that at the moment the TOR is taking one million barrels of crude from GNPC stock from TEN for refining. I would expect that the same is adhered to concerning crude and supply of refined products. But that is also dependent on whether exploration had commenced on those blocks that had been given out and how soon they can come into production,” he advised.
Mr. Jantuah however maintained that the new government would have to be given a little more time to outline its plan for the energy sector.
“It is early days; the Finance and Petroleum Ministries are yet to take positions and we cannot conjecture at this moment what is going to happen till they assume office and update us on what is the situation in terms of supply of gas for the country’s electricity.”
The Vice Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee was also hopeful the new plan agreed on by government and the VRA in restructuring the power distributor’s debts should culminate in solving the challenges facing the sector permanently.