Effective this year, stakeholders in the upstream petroleum sector are set to pursue aggressive basin promotion in the Central, Eastern, Outer Continental Shelf and Voltarian basins in a move to maximize and harness petroleum revenue in the sector.
The move is to attract more competent international oil and gas companies into the basins to increase exploration activities in the sector. It is estimated that commercial discoveries from such exploration will increase the country’s reserves of oil and gas.
The Central, Eastern, Outer Continental Shelf basins are yet to harness their full potentials in contrast with the Jubilee oil field. Some experts in the sector have suggested that the area could hold some oil deposits in commercial quantities.
The Voltaian baisn constitutes almost 40 percent of Ghana’s land mass, stretching from the east, middle and north eastern parts of the country. According to a report from the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), a review of the data from the seismic survey conducted in the area showed positive potential.
The increasing number of applications from international oil and gas firms showing interest through competitive bidding for three blocks in the Western Basin and direct negotiation process involving another two blocks is expected to boost investment opportunities for Ghanaian local content partners in the petroleum sector.
It is in this regard stakeholders in the sector are determined to harness the potentials in Central and Eastern basins. Currently, the Ministry of Energy has received a total of 68 applications from 16 major companies including British Petroleum (BP), Qatar Petroleum, Global Petroleum and other international oil firms.
Addressing the media, sector Minister John Peter Amewu said the stakes and opportunities for local content companies are high as more international oil and gas firms keep applying through competitive bidding and negotiation processes.
“We will need a lot more companies. I call on all Ghanaian local content companies to take part in the licensing round so that they can be considered for selection”, he reiterated.
Meanwhile, Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) and Griffon Energy Africa Limited were recently selected by US oil company ExxonMobil as their indigenous partners in the Deepwater Cape Three Point petroleum agreement. However, the local partners that were selected and presented to the Ministry were different from those in a similar letter sent to the GNPC.
With regards to this development, Mr. Amewu insisted that he saw the said letter, but did not know how it came about and reiterated that there had not been any instance a local content partner was selected by ExxonMobil and replaced by the sector Minister.
By Dundas Whigham