Ghana Oil and Gas Licensing Round to accelerate upstream activity
The Ghana Oil and Gas Licensing Round (GOGLR) will accelerate upstream activity with the view to attracting competent companies to optimise the nation’s welfare from her natural endowments by scaling up oil and gas production.
Mr John-Peter Amewu, the Energy Minister, said this was the main objective of the Licensing Round, which was launched on Monday by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in Accra.
The GOGLR is to ensure transparency and value for money in the Oil and Gas Sector.
“There is no doubt that the current state of our industry, characterised by modest levels of crude oil and gas production and low participation by Ghanaians, has exposed the weaknesses in our strategy and the urgent steps we are taking now shows the determination of the Government under the able leadership of President Nana Akufo-Addo to change the course,” the Minister said.
Mr Amewu said the Ministry had been working relentlessly to reposition the industry to become one of the fastest growing industries in Ghana.
“We have finalised a new blue print and roadmap for accelerating upstream activity with the view to attracting competent companies to optimise the nation’s welfare from our natural endowments by scaling up oil and gas production.”
He said the launch of the first Licensing Round for oil blocks was to enable the Government to invite, negotiate and enter into petroleum agreements with competent and capable companies who would explore, develop and produce petroleum in an efficient, safe, cost effective, sustainable and mutually beneficial manner.
“This is expected to increase the contribution of the oil and gas industry to economic growth, export performance and revenue for the budget,” he said.
Mr Amewu said since the commencement of hydrocarbon production in commercial quantities in Ghana, the oil and gas industry had created significant opportunities, hence the need to take pragmatic steps to harness them effectively for the benefit of the good people of Ghana.
He said the Accelerated Oil and Gas Programme was launched to provide technical and business development skills to Ghanaians to enable them to take advantage of those opportunities.
Mr Amewu said a steering committee was being put in place to provide strategic directions for the implementation of the programme.
He said to date seven technical institutions had been selected and provided with modern equipment to provide the requisite training to the youth.
“I am also happy to announce that the first batch of five Ghanaian youth will leave the country soon for petroleum technical skills training under sponsorship from Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC),” he said.
Mr Amewu noted that two groups of Ghanaian enterprises recently returned from Aberdeen and Norway on a trade mission where they had opportunity to build partnership with experienced foreign counterparts, to improve on their capacity to be competitive in local procurement.
He said those efforts were intended to prepare Ghanaians to play front roles in the oil and gas industry.
“This is also informed by the fact that the Licensing Round offers significant opportunity for equity participation in a petroleum license by Indigenous Ghanaian Companies (IGCs),” he said.
“I would like to make a special call to these IGCs to come on board to take advantage of the several opportunities in the upstream sector particularly as this government has placed premium on local content and Ghanaian participation in the industry.”
He said the Government, on its part, had done what it could to encourage IGCs to partake in this Licensing Round.
He said the Government was committed to improving transparency in the management of the nation’s oil and gas resources adding that the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 2016, Act 919, stipulates the use of a competitive bidding system to award Exploration and Production Rights.