Oil and gas challenges need long term view – GE boss
Governments and key players in the oil and gas sector must have a long-term view of the industry to safeguard against price volatility and other challenges, Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Oil & Gas, has said.
“We know that the oil and gas industry has been through a difficult cycle over the course of the last two years. We have seen the volatility in the prices. What is needed at this time is confidence and a long-term view. That is what we provide,” he said.
He was speaking at the opening of the 10,000msq GE Oil & Gas service facility in Takoradi, capital of the Western Region, which is expected to operate as a primary service centre for deep water offshore projects in the country.
Constructed following an order from ENI in March 2015 for the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project, the facility forms part of GE’s commitment to building a world-class team and services base in-country with the declaration of intent to deliver an efficient service, locally.
“We, as a company are committed to the localisation and growth of this industry. There is a strong need for continuous investment within the oil and gas industry and we continue to see it being a partnership between global and local enterprises. That is what we stand for and today is a demonstration of that,” he said.
Mr. Simonelli, noted that this project completes a journey that started years ago. “We really envisage an opportunity to engage and starting to build the foundations of a future here. What we represent here today is that realisation coming to life,” he said.
He added that in the decades to come, GE and Ghana will be able to flourish as activities at the service centre continue to increase.
The facility has an 800msq indoor test area with capability to conduct two test bays simultaneously with one gas test facility and overhead crane with adequate lifting capacity and hook height for all stored goods, and for all testing requirements. It also has a 1,000msq indoor storage area, external storage on hard surface with a 3000msq capacity and an office block.
Robert Jackson, US Ambassador to Ghana speaking at the event said that the launch represents another step in the right direction for Ghana’s development. “GE is enhancing Ghana’s oil and gas industry. This launch represents another step in country’s development. Since the discovery of oil, Ghana has attracted global companies in investing,” he said.
He noted that GE is one of a growing number of U.S. companies committed to addressing specific challenges and developing new ideas. “You can see it in the company’s mission statement: GE wants to build, move, power, and cure the world,” he said.
Mr. Jackson added that the US government is committed to supporting the transformation of Ghana’s power sector. “On top of these investments, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Power Compact will further strengthen the long-term health of the power sector,” he said.
Apart from the US$498million grant to transform the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Mr. Jackson added that the concessionaire chosen by the Government of Ghana will be required to invest another US$500million over the first five years of the concession.
Director of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Takoradi Port, Capt Eben Kojo Afadzi, added that this project is a giant step towards fulfilling the port’s vision of becoming a dominant hub in oil and gas in the industry.
“This development brings into realisation the vision of making Takoradi Port an oil and gas hub in West Arica. GPHA will continue to be a strategic partner to ensure that Ghana reaps the highest benefit from the natural resource,” he added.
Joseph Cudjoe, Deputy Minister for Energy-designate, noted GE’s investment in such a facility is a giant step to provide quality service for the oil and gas industry as well as the ENI and the OCTP project. “I know further businesses will follow and this will go a long way to contribute to the success of the oil and gas industry,” he said.