Oil and gas will remain key to development as the country transitions to cleaner energy sources, the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber has said – calling for incentives to expedite exploration and development of domestic hydrocarbon resources.
It said investment into gas infrastructure, in particular, is needed to optimise domestic gas utilisation; while a comprehensive plan to seize opportunities in the emerging decarbonisation solutions will position the country to accelerate oil production and increase the sector’s contribution to economic development amid the global energy transition process.
The need to incentivise exploration, accelerate appraisal and development, the Chamber’s Chief Executive Officer David Ampofo explained during the maiden oil and gas conference in Accra, is underpinned by the prospects of multi-billion-dollars-worth of domestic petroleum assets being stranded due to the energy transition. “It is all about discoveries that actually enter production. We have 14 petroleum agreements with only three producing fields,” Mr. Ampofo said.
He, therefore, noted that: “Our competitiveness largely lies in the business environment that we create for businesses to operate in. We need investors to see Ghana as an attractive investment destination”,
While the norm has always been incentivising new international oil companies (IOCs) to take up opportunities in the upstream industry, the Chamber believes those already operating in the space should be encouraged to increase their stake.
Gas as transition fuel
Ghana is endowed with tremendous gas resources, globally considered a transition fuel. Against this backdrop, Mr. Ampofo said a comprehensive gas strategy to link the upstream sector to the downstream is urgently required.
For his part, the Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in a speech read on his behalf said efforts should be channelled at establishing adequate infrastructure for processing, transportation and utilisation of gas in the county, as the availability of adequate infrastructure will open up gas’ enormous potential. “Gas is already playing a critical role in our domestic and industrial activities, and the availability of additional infrastructure will give it a further boost,” he said.
He added that National Energy Transition Framework anticipates the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles in place of petrol/diesel vehicles in the coming years, thereby presenting opportunities for the monetisation of natural gas.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh further revealed that a Gas Master Plan, which is still under review, anticipates that gas will be utilised for fertiliser, ceramics, methanol, steel, aluminium and glass production among others. “Increasing gas production and establishing additional infrastructure will be indispensable if this potential gas demand is to be met,” he said.
Maiden oil and gas conference
Organised by the Ghana Upstream Petroleum Chamber, the conference was themed ‘Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy’.
It 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.
Speaking at the event, Chamber Chair and Senior Vice President of Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah said: “This event is coming at an important time. As we seek to harness the country’s hydrocarbon resources in a time of global energy insecurity, it’s worth pointing out that with the right investment climate Ghana can contribute to providing energy security for the world”.
From left Dr Riverson Ghana Gas, Kwame Boakye Agyei Upstream Petroleum Chamber advisor, Dr Ben Asante CEO Ghana Gas, David Ampofo CEO Upstream Petroleum Chamber, Theo Ahwring MD MODEC and Joe Mensah ,senior vice president Kosmos Energy