"Efficient management of petroleum resources and their associated revenues is a national priority," according to Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo, who described the industry as "an increasingly important contributor to our national economy."
He was speaking at the first-oil ceremony of the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project on 6 July, also attended by ENI chief executive Claudio Descalzi. The Italian electricity giant is the operator of the project, with a 44.44 percent stake; another 35.56 percent is owned by Vitol, and the remaining 20 percent by Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
"The significance of the petroleum sector in the Ghanaian economy is evident in its share of gross domestic product, exports and government revenues," Akufo-Addo said.
The government's vision for the sector
"The significance of the petroleum sector in the Ghanaian economy is evident in its share of gross domestic product, exports and government revenues," Akufo-Addo said. "We shall prudently manage our petroleum resources with a long-term perspective, for the benefit of Ghanaian society as a whole. By judiciously managing them, we shall provide revenues to the country to ensure the welfare of our people, promote employment, improve the environment, and strengthen trade and industrial development in Ghana."
The president also listed his government’s key objectives for the sector. The first was "ensuring that petroleum remains a significant contributor to financing nationwide industrial development, and thus generating resources that can be used for rapid development of national infrastructure." He said it was important to "lay the basis for continued development of the petroleum sector, by ensuring that it remains an attractive area for investment, promoting linkages with other sectors of the economy, and avoiding the curse of the sector remaining an enclave."
Akufo-Addo called for increased openness in the management of oil and gas resources, "through our commitment to the full implementation of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, and strengthening of the Public Interest Accountability Committee, to enhance transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector." He said that Ghana must pursue "ambitious resource and environmental management policies, based on the goals of a sustainable petroleum business, and in collaboration with the private sector, developing the Western Region into a regional oil services hub with a first-class port facility." The government must also "aggressively invest in education and skills enhancement of Ghanaians to manage the sector through the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Development Programme."
The president said these objectives would help Ghana to fulfill its vision of "a modern, diversified, efficient, and financially sustainable energy economy", supporting the country’s accelerated growth and the growing demand for domestic and industrial electricity.
OCTP is one of Ghana's most important infrastructure projects. The integrated oil and gas development programme will significantly improve access to energy by supplying domestic gas to thermal power stations for more than fifteen years, meeting energy demand in often deprived urban and rural areas
OCTP has major potential
OCTP is one of Ghana’s most important infrastructure projects. The integrated oil and gas development programme will significantly improve access to energy by supplying domestic gas to thermal power stations for more than fifteen years, meeting energy demand in often deprived urban and rural areas. After the ceremony, the president added: "I am particularly happy to attend this historic event in the development of Ghana’s oil and gas industry, and at the country’s commitment to ensuring security of supply to its people."
The numbers speak for themselves: the project will produce more than 170 million standard cubic feet a day for the domestic market, generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity, and involve signing contracts worth $1.8 billion with local companies. Akufo-Addo said: "I encourage ENI and its partners to continue collaborating with the Petroleum Commission, and achieve a further increase in participation by Ghanaian operators. This and other projects will help to develop the western region’s infrastructure and economy, in line with our plan to make it a key centre of growth for the country."