President Akufo-Addo has charged the Energy Ministry to critically review operations in the oil and gas sector. This, according to him, is to enable the Ministry determine oil fields that are sub-optimal.
Speaking at the launch of the Ghana Oil & Gas (GOG) Licensing Round 2018, he said: “The Ministry of Energy will engage with the operators, after the review, on the adoption of best methods for increasing oil recovery rate.”
He asserted that the review should also cover petroleum agreements that are dormant, and further entreated the Ministry to encourage operators to consider inviting stronger partners to join or risk the termination of these petroleum agreements.
The purpose of the GOG licensing round is to encourage transparency in petroleum agreements while employing competent and capable companies.
Nine oil blocks have so far been mapped out but only three blocks would be allocated through the open competitive tender.
Two would be given through direct negotiations, while one would be reserved for the national oil company, GNPC.
The President, however, urged the Energy Ministry, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the licensing round committee to ensure that activities under the maiden oil and gas licensing round are carried out in a transparent and efficient manner.
He indicated that considering that the last oil discovery, and the last exploration well was drilled in 2014, it meant that the pace of oil exploration had slowed down considerably in the country.
“Given that production is taking place at a faster rate than reserves are being added, we need to reverse this state of affairs immediately, especially in today’s oil market environment, where crude oil prices are in the US$70 – US$80 per barrel range,” he said.
According to the Energy Ministry, an expression of Interest from the International Oil Companies (IOC) is expected to be submitted by the end of November this year, adding that pre-qualification of local partnering companies and IOC’s would be done in December.
The ministry noted that, between January and February 2019, there would be an evaluation and announcement of pre-qualification of applicants in line with applicable regulations and invitation to tender of pre-qualified applicants.
Qualified companies would have four months within which to submit their tender, while the Licensing Bid Rounds and Negotiation (LBRN) Committee, between June and August 2019, would evaluate the tender.
The announcement of a successful tender is expected in mid-August 2019, paving the way for negotiations to begin with the committee.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum