Petroleum downstream witnessed 15% growth in 2018

The petroleum downstream sector saw a 15 percent surge in consumptions of petroleum products during 2018 under review.

That was as a result of efforts towards curbing illicit fuel activities coupled with deliberate technology based schemes and policy initiatives aimed at propelling private sector growth.

The Chief Executive Officer of National Petroleum Authority, Hassan Tampuli, who made the disclosure at the ongoing 3rd edition of the Ghana International Petroleum Conference (GhIPCon) 2019 said consumption grew by “15 percent from 3.4 million Mt in 2017 to 3.9 million Mt in 2018”.

He added that petroleum sector had contributed over GHS86 billion to Ghana’s GDP representing an average of about eight percent per annum in the period 2013 to 2018.

These successes, he explained, were achieved despite the many challenges the petroleum industry faces. Some of the challenges he enumerated included “smuggling via unapproved offshore routes, dumping of Gasoil declared for sale to foreign vessels at local filling stations, under-declaration and non-declaration of products lifted at depots; diversion of subsidized social products such as premix fuel, as well as fraudulent freight claims from some transporters and siphoning LPG from BRVS into surface tanks at illegal LPG tank”.

These “nefarious activities” he added, cost Ghana “about $200million per annum of tax revenue; compromising on product quality at filling stations due to laundering which leads to damage to vehicle engines; and distortion of the national consumption statistics (over 300,000Mt of actual annual consumption was unreported).

He also said that the “Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) also recorded about US$12 million losses per annum”.

In addressing the stated challenges, Mr. Tampuli mentioned that the NPA had “rolled out a series of measures to tackle the problem heads on, in collaboration with the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Navy and other relevant security agencies in the country”, and intensified “digital solutions such as Enterprise Relational Database Management Software, Petroleum Products Marking Scheme and Bulk Road Vehicle Tracking project”.