GOIL Board Chairman Kwamina Bartels has given the strongest indication yet that the state oil player is ready to be a major player in the upstream oil industry.
Mr. Bartels made this disclosure when he addressed the 49th AGM of the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) in Accra. This development will give far more meaning to the Local Content Law and local content participation.
Even though there is a law in place to ensure Ghanaian participation in the oil and gas industry, this has remained mostly in the downstream sector. Mr. Bartels announced that, currently, GOIL is supporting and rendering services to upstream companies, and that in the near-future GOIL will be a major player in the upstream since its future is bright.
To this end, GOIL is to soon incorporate a company that will be responsible under the Group for handling GOIL’s activities upstream.
With the commercial discovery of oil in the Jubilee Field in 2007, and other discoveries subsequently, Ghanaian companies have had to be content with operating in the downstream sector since most indigenous companies do not possess the financial muscle and expertise to take up major contracts upstream.
This development is indeed welcome news, because it means Ghanaians are gradually going to benefit far more than we are currently doing from our oil resource – and this is what we envisage before we can truly say we are an oil-producing country.
We believe the move is in the right direction, since GOIL – as a partly-state-owned company, is in a strong position to partner any of the world’s major exploration and producing companies. A pragmatic step taken to break the resource curse is enactment of Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013 (L.I. 2204).
The objective of the legislation is to, among others, promote job creation through the use of local expertise, and to develop local capacities in the petroleum industry. We must strive for its full application to ensure Ghanaians benefit from the oil resource.
We believe the GNPC also can be positioned to play a major role in exploration as well as production, and it is incumbent on government to ensure the right capacities are built to realise this objective which will benefit the state more.