Search shifts to Volta basin

Story by Emmanuel Akli,
Associate Editor

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye has hinted that his outfit has begun negotiations with a number of foreign companies to search for oil in the Volta Basin.

According to him, some Russian engineers, who were drilling boreholes in the area some years back, discovered seismic materials which indicated there was oil in the ground.

According to him, though these negotiations are going on, regarding the prospects at the Volta basin, the attention was now focused on the Jubilee Fields to ensure that all the appraisal wells drilled are developed for the benefit of Ghanaians.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Jubilee Partners for senior journalists in Accra yesterday, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye said natural gas discovered at the Jubilee Fields would not be flared, but re-injected into the wells to sustain pressure. He revealed that the contract had already been awarded for the construction of undersea pipe lines to tap the natural gas for proper use in future.

According to him, the project would take between 18 months and two years to complete. The GNPC CEO dismissed rumours that there was a dispute over the ownership of the Jubilee Fields with Ivory Coast. He said there was already a maritime border between Ghana and Ivory Coast, which has been respected over the years by the two neighbours, and that the spot where the oil has been discovered fell within Ghana territory.

Nevertheless, he said, the two countries had set up commissions with support of the United Nations to permanently construct the border. Nana Boakye traced the history for the oil search in Ghana, and noted that the official pouring of the commodity from the Jubilee Fields today is a historic event for all Ghanaians.

The Chief Executive Officer of the EO Group, a partner in the Jubilee Fields, George Owusu, on his part appealed to government to equip local entrepreneurs to take up challenges, as he has done for the betterment of the country. He told the press about the difficulties he went through before he finally managed to convince Kosmos to come and explore for oil in the country.

He noted that in the United States of the America, the government had decided to support entrepreneurs, and hoped that if the strategy was replicated in Ghana, it would help to develop the country.

Mr. Owusu noted that if the rest of the partners in the field were to be Ghanaians, all the money accruing from the extraction of the oil would have stayed in the country for development.

He argued that though his colleague foreign partners had invested a lot of money in the discovery of the oil and, therefore, reserved the right to repatriate their profits, it would have been better for the Ghanaian economy, if all of them were to be Ghanaian companies.

The production of crude oil, which begins officially today, would put Ghana among the top 50 oil producing countries in the world.

After today’s ceremony, the partners would begin the daily production of 50,000 barrels, which would be increased to the maximum capacity of 120,000 in four months.
The government of Ghana is expecting an annual income of $1 billion when the partners reach full production capacity.

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