Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Petroleum, has said government has taken appropriate steps that would drive the oil and gas industry forward and to ensure that the resource would be a blessing.
He said over the past two years, a number of international oil and service companies had relocated their regional offices to Ghana, and this is gradually making the country the regional hub of the petroleum industry.
Mr Buah, who was speaking on Wednesday at the Seventh Annual Ghana Summit on oil and gas, said Ghana’s second Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) had already arrived in the country for the Tweneboa/Enyera/Ntomme (TEN) development.
He said a third FPSO for the Offshore Cape Three Point Sankofa development would arrive early 2017, and probably, a fourth in the not too distant future.
The two-day summit on the theme, “Driving Ghana’s Oil, Gas and Power Potential”, was organized by the CWC Group, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in collaboration with other stakeholders.
It was meant to provide a congenial atmosphere for stakeholders to discuss strategies to drive Ghana’s Oil, Gas and Power Potential forward.
Mr Buah said the theme for the summit underpinned Ghana’s recent experience with the power supply challenges and what had come to be known in the local and international parlance as “dumsor” and its debilitating consequences on the economy and government’s determination to overcome it.
“Our oil and gas and power sectors have long been recognized as key catalysts for Ghana’s speedy ascent to the league of upper middle income countries,” he said.
“It is for this recognition that the Ministry of Petroleum is pursuing a menu of policy goals aimed at strengthening linkages between the oil, gas and power sectors,” he said.
Mr Buah said in the development of a Gas Master Plan for the country, they had prioritized the use of indigenous gas power plants above any other consideration.
He said government’s plan was to ensure that by the end of the next decade, 80 percent of Ghana’s power supply would be generated through thermal means.
Dr Rashid Pelpuo, the Minister of State in charge of Public-Private Partnerships, said recommendations from the summit would have a direct influence on how the oil, gas and power sectors would be managed.
He said government would continue to support the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the oil and gas sector to get them involved in the nation’s socio-economic development.
Dr Pelpuo said government would be organising an SMEs fair on Tuesday, April 26, and this would bring together financiers of SMEs, the SMEs, and oil and gas companies.
Mr Alexander Kofi-Mensah Mould, the Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, said energy had become a national priority amidst recent power challenges fraught with persistent power outages that hindered economic development.
He said GNPC stands ready and willing to engage with and partner investors in exploring opportunities in the sector.
Mr Theo Ahwireng, the Chief Executive, Petroleum Commission, gave an overview of the exploration and appraisal of Ghana’s petroleum resources.
He said the oil and gas sector employs 7,000 people, out of which 80 per cent were Ghanaians; stating that gas production in the country would be tripled by 2018.