Ghana chases Oil & Gas investors at 2018 OTC by securing its first ‘Pavilion’

Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy

For the first time in the history of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which is held annually in the American city of Houston, Ghana will have a Pavilion at the April 30 to May 3, 2018 event.

This is according to the Commercial Section of the United States Embassy in Accra.

Ghana’s pavilion comprises a space for over 10 exhibitors that was secured with collaboration by the Commercial Section of the United States Embassy in Accra, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, and Ghanaian-owned logistics company CONSHIP.

Speaking to B&FT ahead of the conference, Senior Commercial Officer at the Commercial Section of the United States Embassy in Accra, Tyrena Holley said Ghana has indeed arrived and the time is right for it to have its own pavilion – at a time the OTC is celebrating its 50-years anniversary – to exhibit and showcase itself and make the important deals.

Having the pavilion, she said, portrays Ghana as being very serious with its emerging oil and gas industry which is quite young; and also gives the country a seat at the table of the league of oil-producing countries.

“The pavilion for Ghana, being the first in the 50-year history of the OTC, is a platform for businesses operating in Ghana in the oil and gas sector, especially, to exhibit and showcase themselves and make the important deals. It is also critical and shows American companies that Ghana is serious. Remember that recently there are two things that have happened; when the decision was made between Ghana and Ivory Coast that the deep-sea oil fields actually belonged to Ghana in September, that was huge.

“This makes it real: getting a pavilion creates the opportunity for Ghana to now say ‘we have these resources in our oil blocs in our country to auction off’. We need help and technology to get this out of the ground to help government make our economy to grow.

“Ghana is no longer coming to beg for aid, as the president says, as Ghana is currently beyond aid because you now have a seat at the table as a potentially oil-producer,” she added.

The news of Ghana having a pavilion at this years OTC has been received with excitement, as captains of industry within the oil and gas sector have been calling for a pavilion for Ghana in the past to showcase what the country is capable of offering to the investing community.

Energy and Petroleum Minister Mr. Agyarko and the Director-General of the US Commercial Services are expected to open the pavilion and launch an investment drive for the fledgling oil and gas industry, and galvanise support for Ghana’s first bid to issue petroleum exploration licences and natural gas development.

With Ghana having now secured a pavilion for itself, the OTC will expectedly lead to massive acquisition of newest technologies for the country’s oil and gas sector – which will manifest in increased expertise transfer from foreigners to Ghanaians in areas such as drilling, well-testing, surface maintenance and other contemporary expertise that have not only enabled Ghanaian companies to participate in the entire spectrum of the oil and gas industry, but also taken the industry to its current level.

Ms. Holley again stated that the general anticipation after unveilling Ghana’s pavilion will be to have huge investment opportunities which will bring about the commitment of both local and foreign investors to shell-out huge funds to tap into the huge market of prospects in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.

Already, Ghana’s participation in the OTC of 2017 has led to the deal that brought in US oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp to sign a deal with Ghana to explore for oil in the Deepwater Cape Three Point offshore (DWCTP) oilfield.

“The biggest thing one gets for going to this conference – apart from B2Bs – are opportunities whereby businesses sit down and say ‘we want to invest in your country and we think you are the right business from Ghana that can help us achieve our aim’. For example, Exxon Mobil is here after last year’s conference. It’s no longer a one-man show, there is now competition for businesses,” she stated.