The government is anticipating active local participation in oil exploration henceforth.
This follows the launch of the country’s first licensing rounds bids evaluation for oil blocks.
The exercise is to allow interested investors to own and operate six of the nine available oil blocks.
The six oil blocks available for exploration are all located within the Western region.
The coming on board of the blocks should add unto Ghana’s oil output and improve government’s revenue.
This is in line with provisions of the Petroleum Exploration Act 2016 (Act 919).
Speaking at the launch of the first round of licensing, President Akufo Addo said the move is in fulfillment of its manifesto prior to the 2016 general elections which is to protect and effectively utilize oil revenue has been paramount for the government.
“It’s been eleven years since Ghana made a historic discovery of oil and gas recoveries through the bold and far sighted policies of the Kufuor government. There have been a lot of interventions such as establishment of petroleum register to allow the public access petroleum agreements, licenses, permits and authorization with the view of enhancing transparency in the oil and gas sector. Again, launching of the accelerated oil and gas capacity program to empower local firms to play active roles in the oil and gas value chain through capacity development and financing in the sector,” he observed.
The process is open to both foreign and local businesses.
But concerns have been raised over the capacity of indigenous companies to access any of the blocks with hindsight of the constraints such as capital, competencies as well as human resource.
But CEO of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Junior is optimistic this will not be the case.
“Ghanaians can also bid generally for the petroleum agreements but in the event that a foreign entity also wins by technical, financial and technical competencies over a Ghanaian competitor, it must necessary also look for an indigenous Ghanaian company to partner it to own 5 percent of the business,” he indicated.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu has cautioned that the committee will be tough in dealing with entities that attempt to use false information to secure any of the blocks.
“Companies that submit false information or attempt to manipulate the process to their advantage will be disqualified.”
From today, the Expression of Interest from the International Oil Companies (IOC) is expected to be submitted by end of November this year, while pre-qualification of local partnering companies and IOC’s will be done in December.
The process will continue from January next year and the successful bidders are expected to be selected by August 2019.