Editorial : Oil, Gas and COVID-19

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Things are tough. Everything is in limbo. COVID-19 has seen to that. There is not an industry that is not negatively affected by the pandemic. And its worldwide.

The oil and gas industry is no exception.

Companies in Ghana’s oil and gas sector are in a state of flux.

The disruption to global supply chains and air travel has forced many of its participants to put things on hold. Because of the disruption, many Upstream Petroleum companies are in need of extensions to work timelines in order to accommodate the delays caused to their operations.

There is no better time for a frank and fruitful conversation between key stakeholders for the benefit of all – government and Upstream Petroleum companies. Now more than ever, companies need clarity on timelines going forward to be able to plan and schedule drilling campaigns among other things.

With depressed oil prices, funding programmes will inevitably be challenging in the exploration phase. Financing has always been a challenge, but this challenge has become even more intense.

One thing that would serve the industry well at this stage is certainty. Industry Operators will need to have clear information on the extent of licence extensions to enable them plan their restart of delayed programmes in these highly uncertain times.

That way, operators are encouraged to continue with their original plans and government can be assured of ongoing activity within a predictable time-frame.

This is a tough time for the industry, looked at from every conceivable angle. However, regular constructive engagement between stakeholders can be the difference between success and failure.

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