My double celebration weekend
It has been a roller coaster of a weekend, taking in Accra, Takoradi, Cape Coast and Kumasi in a mix of work, pleasure, exhaustion and frustrations while celebrating five and half decades of God’s blessings on this planet, on top of celebrating an important success story in the petroleum industry.
Jubilee South East (JSE) Project.
I made my way to Takoradi last Friday afternoon, ahead of the Jubilee South East (JSE) first oil commemorative event the same morning.
As always, a trip to Takoradi is an enjoyable one for me for the many memories it evokes, and with my birthday imminent on Sunday, Takoradi by night was a curtain raiser for me.
Essentially, this event was to mark the commencement of commercial oil production for the field, with the President, the Minister for Energy and other selected individuals being ferried by helicopter from the Takoradi airport to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah to symbolically turn on the valves for production to begin.
The project was undertaken by Tullow Oil in collaboration with its partners, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Kosmos Energy, Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (JOHL) and Petro SA.
The project is on course to produce an additional 30,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) to bring production in the Greater Jubilee Field to over 100,000 bopd.
Sustained discussions, which started in 2017 between the Energy Ministry, GNPC and the Jubilee partners, eventually led to the approval of the Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan.
The success of the southeast project aligns with the broader Jubilee field plan, aimed at bolstering gross production from the field's eastern side.
With a collective investment of over US$1 billion by these partners, Ghana’s target of maintaining production above 100,000 barrels per day from this field by year-end is well within reach.
With approximately 300 million barrels of oil estimated within the Jubilee field, this triumph is quite a confidence booster in the industry.
As the President remarked during the commemorative launch at the Best Western Atlantic Hotel on Friday afternoon after the FPSO event, the triumph of the JSE project emboldens the government's determination to encourage further investments from our partners in the Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme (TEN) field project.
He noted that the TEN field, enriched with substantial gas reserves, is pivotal to our nation's natural gas production and the stability of our power sector in the coming years.
For his part, Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh emphasised that this natural God-given resource we have been blessed with as a country is for the benefit of the people of this land.
He observed further that the value from it continues to create jobs, (90 per cent of the human resources working on the Jubilee South East project are all Ghanaians), build infrastructure, transform lives and ultimately transform our economy.
Soon, it was time to head back to Accra.
The plan was for me to connect to Kumasi upon arrival in Accra.
Unfortunately, a mishap led to a few colleagues and me missing our flight, which was also the last for the day.
There was only one alternative for me, which was to travel by road to Kumasi through Cape Coast.
Since it was quite late, I decided to spend the night in Cape Coast, another favourite location of mine.
By the time I got to Kumasi, it was almost midday, with three funerals beckoning. Of course, I was exhausted. But I had to oblige.
On top of my less-than-regular visits to Kumasi recently, I have not celebrated my birthday in Kumasi for a while, which means I was running the risk of being captured by Accra.
I must repent.
With a thanksgiving mass and then friends and family joining me at home in Kumasi’s Ashanti Newtown to celebrate the day with me, I could not but be thankful for life itself and the simple blessings it brings to us if we are to take time to count them.
Of course, I feel young at heart despite my cranky waist and wobbly knees, with various potions and creams as my regular companions.
I intend to defy the natural rules of the ageing process in general and middle age in particular for as long as I can.
So help me God.
Head, Communications & Public Affairs Unit,
Ministry of Energy,