The government has assured investors in the global oil and gas sectors of a level playing field and transparent processes in the award of oil blocks in Ghana.
With reference to the present and future licensing rounds, it again gave an indication of its readiness to ensure a win-win situation as part of efforts to attract more investors into the country’s fledgling oil and gas sector.
The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, gave the assurance when he addressed a large gathering of exhibitors and conference participants in the opening of the Ghana Pavilion at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston Texas last Monday.
It comes at a time when red flags had been raised around a major deal between a Norwegian company, Aker Energy and the Government of Ghana, a situation which is sending wrong signals about how deals in the sector are being handled.
But in what is expected to allay such fears about the government’s commitment to transparency and fair deal, the sector minister said: “I want to use this opportunity to assure the companies that are participating in our ongoing licensing round and all other companies that the Government of Ghana is working around the clock daily, to make conditions even more favourably for oil and gas exploration and production in Ghana. “
With regard to efforts to explore onshore oil production, Mr Amewu also hinted that currently, all petroleum activities in Ghana were offshore “but work is ongoing to prepare our onshore basin (the Voltaian Basin), which is the largest sedimentary basin in Ghana, for licensing.
“So take note, companies which prefer to explore and exploit petroleum onshore,” Mr Amewu urged.
The Energy Minister said there were also farm-in opportunities in some existing licences, adding that the Petroleum Commission would be more than willing to link interested parties with the companies holding such licences.
“Moving downstream, the government of Ghana is instituting deliberate policies to develop a petroleum hub in the country, which will require refining and processing facilities, port discharge, storage, distribution and transportation facilities, as well as trading of petroleum products in Ghana for the West African sub-regional markets,” he told the gathering at the Ghana Pavilion.
Mr Amewu also walked the potential investors through the opportunities in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector, saying “we have an LPG promotion policy which encourages the use of LPG across the country.
This requires the establishment of optimally sized and professionally operated major LPG refill plants across the country and the expansion of LPG storage and distribution infrastructure to all parts of the country.
He told them that Ghana’s downstream sector was inundated with opportunities “and if you have the wherewithal to undertake any of these activities, contact the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority for the processes involved in getting the licences to operate in Ghana”.
Mr Amewu further leveraged the opportunity by saying that Ghana’s delegation included astute businessmen and women, who were willing to discuss and do business with their counterparts from different parts of the world in order to expand business activities, trade and investments between Ghana and other countries.
He said international businesses were, therefore, being encouraged to engage the Ghanaian businesses for partnership opportunities in Ghana and beyond.
The Chief Operating Officer of Conship, Mrs Linda Vasnani, said the Ghana Pavilion at OTC 2018, was a huge success with Ghanaian companies showing their competence in the oil and gas sector.
“We promised that OTC 2019 will be bigger and better.
I am proud to announce that with the support, coordination and participation of the Ministry of Energy and its sector agencies, the Petroleum Commission, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana, Consolidated Shipping Agencies Ltd, Ghana Houston Chamber of Commerce and Exhibit Network, we were able to deliver on this promise.
She said the number of exhibitors this year had increased by 50 per cent, bringing the number to 26.
“I warmly welcome our returning exhibitors: Tullow Oil Ghana, Kosmos Energy, Ministry of Energy, GNPC, Petroleum Commission, Seaweld Engineering, Spring field, I-Neema, GOGSpa, Eco Alpha Services and Conship.
Your passion in putting Ghana first is evident in your continuous support of this event.
We are also extremely honoured to have new exhibiting companies in the name of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Aker Energy, Dominion Oil, Baj Freight, Destra Energy, Prime Meridian Docks, Oma Logistics and Heliconia EAS.