The Minister of Energy, Mathew Opoku Prempeh has said as the second largest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions, petroleum upstream sector companies must play a significant role in Ghana’s quest to drift towards energy transition.
The deputy energy minister Owuraku Aidoo who presented a speech for the sector minister at the 2022 Ghana Oil and Gas Conference in Accra, said Ghana has witnessed dramatic increases in carbon dioxide emissions primarily as a result of the development of the country’s offshore fields.
“As his excellency, the President, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo said at COP 27, Ghana’s position on energy transition is to the responsible exploitation of our natural resources for our development and transition at our own pace,” the energy minister said.
Prempeh said responsible exploitation means ensuring that upstream operations are not injurious to the environment and lives of the people.
He said it is incumbent on government and the upstream sector players to ensure that exploration and production activities are undertaken in a sustainable manner. The maiden edition of the Ghana Oil and Gas conference which was under the theme ‘Transitioning to a low carbon economy was put together by the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber.
“Indeed, now is the right time to engage the upstream industry players on how they can contribute to Ghana’s efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy. The upstream industry is one of the major contributors to carbon dioxide emissions in Ghana and the globe as a whole,” Prempeh said.
The energy minister stated that within the last three decades, Ghana’s carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector increased elevenfold from 2.5 million tonnes to 27.3 million tonnes with the oil and gas sector accounting for 29.5% of these emissions.
This makes the sector the second highest contributor of CO2, next to the transportation sector which contributes 33% of the emissions.
He urged International Oil Companies working in Ghana’s waters to eschew gas flaring which is a major source of CO2 emissions.
“In 2010, 2016 and 2017, dramatic increases in CO2 emissions were witnessed in the country owing to the coming onstream of the Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa-Gye-Nyame fields. Flared, vented and fugitive gas from the upstream operations accounted for these emission hikes. This underscores the need to institute measures that will curtail emissions from upstream operations,” Prempeh stated.
The energy minister also praised a recent MOU signed between Morocco and Nigeria to extend the West Africa Gas Pipeline along the coast to optimize the use of natural gas.
“The completion of this project will result in increased access to energy to boost the socio-economic activities of the region, enhance the integration of our economies, create a platform for intra-African trade in natural gas, while safeguarding the environment. The project will also put Ghana on another pedestal as gas production in the country will be ramped up and exported to neighboring countries”.
The maiden edition of the Ghana Oil and Gas conference which was under the theme ‘Transitioning to a low carbon economy was put together by the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber.’
The conference brought together explorers, oil and gas producers, and indigenous suppliers and manufacturers in the industry, as well representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of trade and Industry, Ministry of Public Enterprises and the Petroleum Commission. Also in attendance were member companies of the Chamber and other stakeholders.