Energy Minister makes case for Ghana & Africa at OTC

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
Energy Minister makes case for Ghana & Africa at OTC
Energy Minister makes case for Ghana & Africa at OTC

The Minister for Energy, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has called for the need for Ghana and other African countries to ensure organic flow towards the transition to cleaner energy.

The minister said the global advocacy for energy transition and cleaner energy was not lost on those in Africa and that Ghana remains committed to its SDG-7 goals.

Speaking at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2021) in Houston, Dr Prempeh said Ghana has been working towards clean energy in its energy mix through several initiatives and policies.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the OTC at the Ghana Pavilion, the minister presented the country’s petroleum industry (upstream and downstream) and other opportunities to investors.

He said the fact remains that gas, especially Africa’s liquefied petroleum gas is the cleanest of fossil fuels and harnessing it to power generators could make a huge impact on the drive to accelerate universal coverage.

“It is important to note that, without a purposeful drive towards cheaper electricity through gas exploration, our goal of universal coverage and industrialization would make little or no impact,” he said.

In the global drive towards the transition, he said “we cannot take oil and gas operations out of our conversation towards a sustainable future and our aim of eliminating energy poverty.”

The minister said it was important to note that in the conversation towards a sustainable future “since our needs and priorities are vastly different from the industrialized countries as we are at different stages of our growth process.”

Ghana and by extension the rest of the oil-producing nations in Africa he said must be allowed to grow their renewable mix at their own pace while using the natural resources to power their economy and eliminate energy poverty.

Listing all the credentials that make Ghana the best investment destination, the minister said “we in Ghana seek more, not less exploration, which is why we take the OTC platform seriously and continue to push for inward investment in our oil and gas industry.”

On the country’s upstream space, the minister said, the country has a lot of untapped oil resources, both onshore and offshore “that we hope to sustainably explore and exploit through partnerships with private companies.”

“The fact remains that in Ghana exploration and production, licenses are awarded through open, transparent and completive public tender process. And some through direct negotiations and that is if the direct negotiations present the most efficient way to achieve optimal exploration, development and production of the petroleum resource in a defined area,” the minister said.

The country he said always ensures that in, either way, prospective contractors must have the requisite technical and financial abilities to undertake the petroleum activities.

At the conference were exhibitors from the Ministry of Energy, backed by the team responsible for energy policy and formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as the supervision and coordination of activities of the energy sector agencies.

The upstream industry regulator, Petroleum Commission, the National Petroleum Authority in charge of the downstream sector, the national oil company, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) were also present to present the prospects of the country to the investor community.

International oil and gas companies operating in Ghana – Kosmos Energy, Tullow Oil Ghana among others were also present to support the exhibition and interact with industry players.

The country’s exhibition stand at all forums was a success with heavy patronage. Many of the participants and visitors commended Ghana for its strong presence.