The Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, has urged members of the newly inaugurated Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to adopt aggressive measures to expand oil exploration to increase the country’s oil reserve.
That, he said, was crucial to make Ghana self-sufficient in oil and gas and increase the benefits for the citizenry.
The seven-member board, which Mr Agyarko swore into office yesterday in Accra, has the acting Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Blay, as Chairman and the Managing Director of the GNPC, Mr K. K. Sarpong, the Wulugunaba and former President of the National House of Chiefs, Naa Professor John S. Nabila; the Omanhene of the Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Area and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, as members.
The other members are the Managing Director of Transroyal Ghana Limited, Mr Yaw Kyei; the Director of Radio of Oman FM, Mr Martin Kwabena Kwakye and Nana Adjoa Hackman, a legal practitioner.
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation GNPC is the state agency responsible for the exploration, licensing and distribution of petroleum-related activities in the country.
Mr Agyarko said Ghana had become an oil-producing country but indicated that “we cannot sit on our ores to wallow in the pleasures of our oil finds”.
He said the Jubilee Fields had been the major oilfield for the country in the last 15 years, and indicated that it was about time more oilfields were discovered to augment production.
Therefore, he said, the board members of the GNPC were required “to adopt a posture of aggressive exploration to add to our oil reserves”.
Maximise oil revenue
The Energy Minister said the government and for that matter, the GNPC, had the responsibility to maximise the use of oil resources for the benefit of the present and future generations.
“We have to use it in a way that when we run out in the next 50 years, posterity will say we have used it well. Future generations must come to an acknowledgement that oil revenue touched their lives,” he said.
Mr Agyarko said the country could not afford to go the slippery slope of other nations, where oil had become a curse rather than a blessing for them.
He asked the board members to plan their resources in such a way that they could attract cheapest cost and talents to support the operations of GNPC.
Mr Blay welcomed the challenge for the board to expand the country’s oil reserve to make her self-sufficient in oil and gas.
He expressed the hope that within the next five to six years, the country’s oil production would be increased from the about 180,000 barrels daily currently to 500,000 barrels.
Mr Blay said the GNPC would work with the international community, investors and local partners “to ensure that oil and gas benefit the people.”
He thanked the President for the confidence reposed in the members and promised never to disappoint him and Ghanaians.