A Ghanaian official underscored on Wednesday the need for continued aggressive oil exploration activities, both offshore and onshore.
In his address at the opening of the 2018 Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference, Minister for Energy Boakye Agyarko said this was necessary to forestall any diminishing role of oil and gas in national development in the foreseeable future.
“Government’s policy for the upstream is in the need for continued aggressive exploration. Without this, the onset of natural production rate declines, as fields reach maturity, which will mean that the significant role of oil and gas production, as catalyst for economic growth, may diminish,” he argued.
The minister said Ghana still has a large and relatively unexplored sedimentary basin with huge oil and gas potential. Out of the total offshore area of about 256,000 square km, only 30 percent is licensed for exploration.
But to do this, Agyarko said it was necessary to reposition the national oil Company, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), with a core mandate, either as an explorer or an asset manager.
Alex Mould, immediate past Chief Executive of the GNPC, told Xinhua that the role of GNPC was not in dispute as the law setting them up was clear on their mandate.
“GNPC is the only entity allowed in this country to explore for oil, which means when any IOC wants to explore for oil in Ghana, they have to do it in association with GNPC where they are GNPC’s contractors,” Mould said.