KETA : GNPC explores Volta Basin for oil
|Oil exploration|| |
As the nation awaits the first commercial oil flow from the Jubilee Fields from the last quarter of the year, the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) has turned its exploration radar on the Voltaian Basin, which is believed to have a huge oil potential.
The GNPC is currently undertaking a recon-naisance survey of the 104,000-square kilometre Voltaian Basin, covering about 40 per cent of the country’s land mass, to acquire requisite data to demonstrate its oil prospects.
The survey, estimated to cost S30 million, involves geological expeditions and the acquisition of Two Dimensional (2D) Seismic data to ascertain the oil potential of the basin for the purposes of attracting investors into its exploration.
It is expected to be completed within the next three years and, according to GNPC officials, some major international oil companies were watching events in the Voltaian Basin with keen interest.
When proven viable, the oil prospects in the basin will add up to the country’s enormous oil endowment, only discovered lately, and analysts believe that will make Ghana one of the leading oil producers in the world.
Currently, the offshore Jubilee Fields,in the Western Region have a proven oil reserve estimate of 800 million barrels, with 90 per cent chance of recovery. Other discoveries at the Mahogany, Sankofa and Tweneboah fields are yet to be developed.
The Director of Exploration and Production at the GNPC, Mr Thomas Manu, throwing more light on the survey, told journalists at a news briefing in Accra that there were indications that the oil prospects in the Voltaian Basin were very bright.
"The press briefing was organised by the GNPC to share with the media recent developments in the country’s oil industry for better appreciation of the issues.
Taking the media through petroleum exploration and production in Ghana, Mr Manu said at the moment there were 10 petroleum exploration companies operating in the country, in collaboration with the GNPC, adding’that 110 wells had so far been drilled.
The Managing Director of the GNPC, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye, said so far about $4.5 billion had been invested in the development of the first phase of the Jubilee Fields, with two other phases yet to be developed
He said initially the Jubilee Fields would produce 60,000 barrels of oil per day, which would be increased to 500,000 barrels after three years and then to one million barrels by 2020.
He stressed the need for Ghanaians to take full advantage of the benefits accruing from that investment.
Mr Asafu-Adjaye said the GNPC was collaborating with the Kwame Nkmmah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for GNPC staff to teach at the university.
The Board Chairman of the GNPC, Mr Ato Ahwoi, stressed the need for Ghanaians and Ghanaian institutions to be at the forefront of research to improve the oil sector, adding that there was the need for Ghanaians and Ghanaian financial institutions to take the lead in financing the sector, so that the profit from the huge revenue to be generated from the industry was retained in the country.
He said it was the intention of the government to link the oil industry with other sectors of the economy, pointing out that oil must not become an" enclave or an island.
The Chief Economic Evaluation Officer at the GNPC, Mr Kwame Ntow Amoah, said it was not true that the total financial benefit that would
accrue to Ghana from the oil industry was just 10 per cent carried interest.
According to him, the financial benefit that would accrue to the nation was the sum of royalty to be paid to the state (five per cent in the case of the Jubilee Fields), the GNPC interest, tax paid to the government and other oil entitlements.
In that regard, he said, there could be as high as 50 per cent of oil revenue coming to the state, including what would go to the GNPC, adding that savings made on the importation of oil would also bring financial benefit to the state.
Mr Amoah stressed the need for the state to invest in key sectors of the oil industry in order to increase local content, noting that one way of increasing local content was to bring natural gas to land so that it would have a better impact on the people.