An energy expert is imploring communities affected by petroleum exploration activities to take advantage of provisions in the Petroleum Exploration Act to secure compensation.
The local economy, especially of the Western Region, has been impacted by way of high cost of living among others.
In a bid to develop the region into an oil services hub in the West Africa sub-region, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its 2016 manifesto promised to relocate the headquarters of the GNPC to the region, a proposal many analysts have expressed misgivings about.
Speaking with JOY BUSINESS, Executive Director of the Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE) Ghana Ishmael Agyekumhene said oil communities can maximize the benefit of the resource.
“If you put that promise in perspective, it says that they want to turn the Western Region into an oil and gas hub like the U.S has Houston as its oil and gas hub.
“In terms of the added benefit, I really can’t envision any serious implication apart from the fact that the gov’t is making the residents feel that they have the oil resources located in the region so government is getting the head office of the national oil company closer to them,” he said.
He wondered whether the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) would relocate to the northern part of Ghana if oil is found there.
“Another important thing to consider is whether we would have the international oil companies (IOC’s) like Tullow and Cosmos to relocate to the Western Region,” he noted.
He said he is not sure whether the region has the room to acommodate all the people as well as the expansion that would take place there should GNPC be moved.
Although he agrees the local industries and businesses would see a massive boost, he said they all come at a cost considering that landed property in Takoradi, for instance, is very expensive.