Ghana: Terminate Dormant Petroleum Agreements - President Orders

16 October 2018

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the Ministry of Energy to review petroleum agreements that are dormant and, possibly, terminate those contacts.

He said petroleum companies that were unable to commence any activity, after winning government contracts, should consider inviting stronger partners to join them or risk termination of their contracts.

"I have charged the Ministry of Energy to review critically existing operations in the industry, with the view to determining oil fields that are sub-optimal.

"The review also covers Petroleum Agreements that are dormant. The Ministry of Energy will engage with the operators after the review on the adoption of best methods for increasing oil recovery rate.

"For Petroleum Agreements that are dormant, the ministry will encourage the operators to consider inviting stronger partners to join them or risk the termination of these Petroleum Agreements, should they persist in failing to meet their minimum work obligations," he said at the launch of the Ghana Oil and Gas Round in Accra yesterday.

President Akufo-Addo said his administration was committed to using the country's oil revenues to create assets, and would not waste it on consumption.

"We are investing revenues from oil in one of the most ambitious social programmes of our country's history, i.e. the Free Senior High School policy. In the 2018 budget, GH¢455.9 million of petroleum revenues was allocated to the Free SHS programme.

"Free SHS is ensuring that our oil revenues are being equitably distributed to our people, and not ending up in the pockets of a few. The most important resource of any nation is its people.

"Investing in our children and in the future of our country is the most appropriate investment any government can make, and we are fully committed to continuing on this path" he said.

The President noted that the countries that had benefited immensely from their oil and gas resources were those that implemented policies to accelerate value addition activities in their economies through the development of forward and backward linkages, and investing oil revenues in strategic social and economic programmes.

"If we are to sustain and broaden the scope of our social interventions that rely on petroleum revenues, we must consciously work to increase crude oil production,"he said.

President Akufo-Addo said the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was making progress in its efforts to discover oil and gas deposits onshore in the Voltaian basin.

Again, in seeking to increase Ghana's oil reserves and improve on oil and gas production, Cabinet would soon approve a 'Blueprint and Roadmap for Accelerated Oil and Gas Exploration and Development,' which was based on a new strategy of aggressive exploration, he said.

"The strategy seeks to build synergies with the domestic downstream petroleum sector to increase Ghanaian content and Ghanaian participation in the oil industry; and to accelerate the pace of institutional capacity development to manage our oil and gas resources efficiently," President Akufo-Addo said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the current NPP government, under his leadership had chalked a number of successes in Ghana's upstream petroleum sector, since January 2017.

They included the establishment of a petroleum register launched earlier this year to allow the public access petroleum agreements, licences, permits and authorisations, with the view to enhance transparency in the management of the petroleum upstream sector, he said.

Government, he added, had launched the Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity (AOGC) Programme, which was empowering local firms to play progressively active roles in the oil and gas value chain through capacity development, and financing and partnership support.

Laws such as the Petroleum Exploration and Production (Data Management) Regulations 2017, LI 2257, the Petroleum Exploration and Production (Health, Safety and Environment) Regulations 2017, LI 2258, and the General Petroleum Regulations, he said, had also been passed.

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