Government’s decision to auction six out of nine prepared oil blocks in the Tano Basin, offshore Cape Three Points in the Western Region through a competitive tender procedure in October, 2018 is worth commending. Creating a competitive environment for the acquisition of oil blocks has the ability to guarantee the country’s attraction of the finest companies with the required financial strength and technical competencies to achieve sustainable exploration and production.
This is an important step in Ghana’s oil and gas industry as it guides the initiation of a framework for transparency that eliminates all forms of rent-seeking inclinations in the allocation of oil blocks and helps prevent corruption. Presently, the oil and gas industry can be recognized as being one of the biggest and key sector of Ghana’s economy quantified in terms of profit accumulation, income generated by government, investment reserves and export worth. In 2017 for example, Ghana’s challenging petroleum sector observed some level of progress, most of which specifies a strong and budding industry.
The Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan (GJFFDP) received a ministerial (Ministry of Energy) endorsement, the TweneboaEnyenra-Ntomme (TEN) FPSO gas export facility was also completed, first oil flow from Sankofa Gye Nyame oilfields, and about 80% completion of its OCTP incorporated development project for Oil and Gas phases. Also, the processing facility of the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure continuously obtained and processed gas for the local market. Further to these was the favourable ruling of the Ghana – Cote d’Ivoire maritime boundary dispute by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on 23rd September, 2017. The ruling absolved Ghana from any infringement on La Cote d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary and this triumph has eliminated the insecurity of the sector and has led to the amplification of exploration by petroleum companies in the formerly disputed area.
Now for the first time since the repeal of PNDCL 84, 1984, the country’s oil blocks will be accessible to investors through a competitive tendering process, This move is observed to be timely as it accomplishes the country’s aim to amplify the production of oil and gas to engender further revenue for development, while ensuring appreciable openness and value for money in oil resource administration. It is, therefore crucial that the structuring of the industry as well as the creation of the various functions and allocation of responsibilities within the sector reflect on all key public interests and make certain that value generation from petroleum wealth profits the Ghanaian society as a whole. It is based on this motivation that we are pleased with government’s commencement with the competitive tendering process.