The launch of the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber (GUPC) on 30th January 2019, saw the initiation of a formalised platform serving as an advocacy instrument for Oil and Gas industry players and a focal point for collective interests.
The event brought together many of Ghana’s oil and gas industry players, including the Deputy Minister of Energy responsible for Petroleum Dr. Amin Adam -, Petroleum Commission CEO Egbert Faibille, Chamber Board members, and representatives of International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Local Service companies.
The Chamber’s board members include Tullow Ghana Limited, ENI, Anadarko, Kosmos Energy, Aker Energy and Vitol. Tullow has played a significant role, providing financial support and technical knowledge for the creation and official launch of the upstream chamber.
In 2010, Ghana’s oil and gas players formed an informal group known as the Ghana Exploration and Production Forum; however, the growth of and increased activity within Ghana’s oil and gas sector drove the need for a more formalised entity. The existence of three producing fields – Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa, the entrant of new players such as Aker, and increasing local participation set the right environment for the formal establishment of the GUPC. Membership of the GUPC is open to Exploration & Production (E&P) companies and Service Companies providing goods and services to upstream E&P operators in Ghana. The Chamber is aimed at:
- Distributing Industry development and investment information;
- Networking with government, public institutions, and private sector organisations; and
- Collaborating with Government and other stakeholders for a better business climate.
These will be achieved through continuous dialogue, engagement and feedback with all stakeholders on policy formulation as well as legislation on business operations and activities of the oil and gas industry. Former Tullow Ghana Limited managing director Charles Darku is the first chief executive officer of the GUPC. In his remarks at the launch, he stated, “the objective of the Chamber is to create a common platform for its members and liaise with all stakeholders to adopt international best practices that are fit for our purpose to grow the industry in Ghana.”
Speaking at the official launch, Petroleum Commission Chief Executive Egbert Faibille Jnr cautioned companies to avoid violation of Ghana’s local content laws. He said, “the regulator is ready to go further to implement laws that seek to protect and develop Ghanaians.”
In his keynote address, Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, reiterated the importance of an enabling environment for business growth and the roles GUPC and Petroleum Commission have the opportunity to play. He stated,
“GUPC provides a platform on which government can reach out to industry stakeholders. We understand that the objective of the Chamber is to make meaningful and constructive engagement between exploration and production companies, service companies and other sectors within the industry and we fully support it.”
He concluded by reminding the Petroleum Commission of its role in providing an enabling environment for growth. Also providing solidarity messages were the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr. Sulemana Koney and the Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Mr. Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Darku stressed that, “the Chamber is set up to pursue the interests of all members whether they be small indigenous companies or large international oil companies. As a diverse group, we will look out for the specific interests of all.” Overall, industry players exuded a sense of hope and confidence in the role of GUPC and the great opportunities it presents for deepening collaboration and networking for the future of Ghana’s oil and gas industry.