GNPC spends $100m on Voltaian Basin seismic data
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has spent close to $100 million over the last six years to acquire seismic data on the Voltaian Basin Officials of the GNPC are now analysing the data.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GNPC, Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, disclosed this in Accra yesterday during a panel discussion at an Upstream Petroleum Data Workshop in Accra.
The discussion was on Enhancing Exploration & Production Activities in Ghana –Accelerating Exploration and Production through the utilisation of Petroleum Data”
The two-day workshop is being organised by the Petroleum Commission, Ghana, regulator of the upstream petroleum industry.
The programme brought together players in the oil and gas industry, among other personalities.
Data has been identified as the lifeblood of hydrocarbon exploration and production as it provide informed decisions as to whether to drill in certain areas or not.
Mr Danquah, who was responding to a question, said it had taken some time to drill in the Voltaian Basin because of the nature of the basin, as it was too big.
He explained that for instance, putting all the corporation’s offshore basins in the western, central and Keta Basins together would still not fit into the Voltaian Basin since it was huge.
The GNPC CEO explained that the corporation was very certain that there were commercial quantities of oil in the basin but unfortunately, drilling a well would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
However, Mr Danquah said “in order to find that needle in the haystack, what you have to do is you have to take each straw of the hay and put it down before you can find the needle and that may take years and we have already taken years”.
“So we are acquiring data, we would never ever in our lifetime get a complete set of data for the Voltaian Basin, it is not possible,” he said.
Mr Danquah explained that was not possible because there were other basins like the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea where seismic data was still being acquired.
He said at the conception stage of the exploration of the basin, the GNPC had limited data and that “we are hoping to drill with the data that we have, it is still not enough data for us though we have to make a decision”.
Contributing to the discussion, the CEO of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr, said the GNPC had done a good thing by venturing into the Voltaian Basin Project.
Exploration, he said, was very expensive and that to drill one well offshore, it cost between $50 and $70 million, adding that it was imperative that the GNPC had gone on the path that it had taken.
“At least, it shows that before the energy transition comes in, Ghana, through its national oil company has put its money where its mouth is by acquiring some data.
So I would commend the GNPC for this,” he said.
Mr Faibille Jnr said the financial outlay that had been put in by GNPC was quite significant and commendable.
“People are very expectant and I know that the men and women at GNPC have all that it takes to make this Voltaian Basin move on to the next level. But let me tell you my friend, Petroleum Commission is getting impatient, we want to come in there and start marketing the rest of the basin,” he said.
Responding to a question on her experience with regard to accessibility to legacy data, the Deputy Operations Manager of Tullow Ghana Limited, Dr Lina Sowah, said there was a challenge there in terms of data quality and storage.
She said it was key to have a good and quality data that was useful.