The Minister for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, has made a strong argument for the country to start developing its capacity to explore and produce oil as international companies are withdrawing from oil-producing countries in Africa.
In recent times, oil producing giant Exxon Mobil exited Ghana after showing an initial interest of working in the country. In Nigeria, TotalEnergies is also preparing to move away from crude production in the West African region.
In a speech read on his behalf at the 7th edition of the Local Content Conference in Accra, Dr. Opoku-Prempeh warned that the situation will continue as funding and investment for fossil fuel decline.
“The extreme image of all foreign contractors withdrawing from Ghana and leaving the nation incapable of producing oil on its own must forever drive Ghana to fully apply itself to technology transfer and local content development,” he said.
He maintained that the energy transition is fast progressing, with very drastic measures to compel its enforcement across the world.
He assured that Ghana remains committed to fully exploiting its petroleum resource in an environmentally responsible manner, to enable the country fund its own oil production.
He is optimistic the country will expedite the processes of attaining the status of full technical self-sufficiency for exploration and production activities, bearing in mind the 2050 deadline set globally.
Dr. Opoku-Prempeh announced that available data indicate that a vast volume of Ghana’s oil reserves are in ultra-deep waters, thus requiring sophisticated levels of technology in order to produce at such depth offshore.
He pointed out that government cannot bear all the cost, hence it will require partnerships with local private investors to exploit the resources.
“It is an undisputed fact that for Ghana to fully exploit its hydrocarbon resource, the public and private sectors must as a matter of urgency embark on the needed action to build technological capacity for efficient exploration and production activities,” he said.
To attain a sufficient technology transfer status, the energy minister stated that work is ongoing to reform some aspects of the legal and regulatory framework where need be.
“It is refreshing to note that the proposed review of LI 2204 is intended to introduce mechanisms such as channeling strategic alliances, among others, with the view of accelerating Ghanaian participation in the sector,” he said.
He stated that through a continued inter-stakeholder engagement, policy formulation on local content will be better informed and guided.