The secretary to the government’s Economic Management Team (EMT), Prof. Joe Amoako-Tuffour, says it’s time the country did more exploration of oil in deep waters if it still wants to remain an oil producer.
In an interview with Business24, Prof. Amoako-Tuffuor said the country risks exhausting its hydrocarbons in the next 10 years if it doesn’t move into deep waters to explore oil.
“We have to be confident to explore, because if we don’t explore, we won’t have oil. So it’s all hands on deck to make sure that we do more exploration into deep waters; otherwise, we will have all our oil stranded underground,” he said.
Asked if the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation is doing well as a national oil company, he said the conversation should be on whether the country will be producing oil in the next 10 years, since GNPC will not be relevant if there is no oil.
“Moving into deep waters is not child’s play. Very few companies can do deep waters, so the conversation is not so much about whether [the] Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) will exist or Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is doing well.
“Yes, GNPC is doing very well, [but] the oil industry is an expensive one and you don’t venture if you have no money,” he said.
Dr. Steve Manteaw, a former chairman of PIAC, said after 10 years of oil production, the nation can be proud of the fact that it has managed to create an avenue through which citizens are able to participate in discussions about how oil money is being managed.
“This part of the story has been hailed globally. It means we are doing something good, and time has come for us to extend that to the mineral sector,” he told Business24.
In 2010, Ghana lifted its first oil cargo of 1.1m barrels from the Jubilee field. Ten years down the line, 420m barrels have been produced from a total of three oil fields
PIAC said in its 2020 half-year report that the government has earned US$6.2bn from the oil sector since production began a decade ago.