The government’s petroleum receipts for the second quarter of the year increased by almost 60 percent compared with the same period last year,boosted by higher oil prices.
According to Ministry of Finance data, second quarter petroleum revenue came in at US$241.3m, US$89.1m more than the US$152.2m received inthe corresponding period of 2020.
More than three-quarters of the revenue equivalent to US$184.6m was earned from crude oil sales, while 23 percent, or approximately US$56m, represented corporate taxes paid by oil companies.
The main driver of the increase in revenue was stronger oil prices, as the government realised an average price of US$64.4 per barrel (/b) for its crude oil sales during the period, up from US$39.8/b a year ago. The volume of crude oil sold by the government stood at 2.9m barrels, approximately the same as in the second quarter of 2020. Oil prices have rallied this year as global demand for the commodity recovers from last year’s fall induced by the coronavirus crisis. Analysts also blame supply issues, including the inability of major producers to scale up production, partly for the rally.
The situation is benefitting oil exporters such as Ghana, which depends on petroleum revenue to fund important government programmes. The flip side, however, is increased import costs and higher domestic fuel prices since the country imports most of the crude oil consumed locally. Oil imports cost the economy US$1.65bn in the first eight months of the year, up from US$1.2bn in the same period of 2020. The larger import bill contributed to a reduced external trade surplus in the period. Following the increase in petroleum receipts, the Ministry of Finance transferred US$80.4m to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in
the second quarter.
The amount was 47 percent more than the national oil company received in the same period last year.