Ghana is on the Precipice of an Industry Revolution, Says AEW 2022 Country Spotlight Speakers

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Following the success of the Jubilee and TEN oilfield discoveries, Ghana’s hydrocarbon industry is set to witness unprecedented growth as investors flock to the country’s high opportune market.

Following a keynote speech by Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy of Ghana, a panel of industry experts explored the country’s upcoming hydrocarbon boom, making a strong case for oil and gas investment and development in 2022 and beyond.

Speakers during the country spotlight session included Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, Deputy CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Center; Dave Pappoe, President, African Energy Chamber Ghana; Egbert Faibille Jr., CEO, Petroleum Commission of Ghana; Felix Aremo, CFO, Tetracore Energy; Dr. Ben Asante, CEO, Ghana Gas; and Joe Mensah, SVP and Head of Ghana Business Unit, Kosmos Energy. The spotlight session was moderated by Etienne Kolly, Associate Director, Upstream Intelligence, sub-Saharan Africa, S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Kicking off the discussion, Hon. Prempeh stated that, “The outlook of Ghana’s oil and gas sector hinges on a healthy pipeline of E&P activities and an attractive fiscal regime. With a healthy pipeline, Ghana’s crude oil production has the potential to grow in the next ten years. Volume maximization and improvement works such as the deployment of enhanced oil recovery technologies are also underway. Businesses want transparency in the fiscal regime and this is exactly what Ghana has leveraged to drive its sector.”

Building on the success of the Jubilee and TEN discoveries, Ghana has become a symbol of how private sector involvement in the oil and gas sector can be enabled to develop a thriving and successful upstream and downstream industry that brings wealth and growth to the country.

During the spotlight session, panelists explored the success of these discoveries, making clear the role exemplary business enabling policies have and will continue to play across the country, as well as gas as a driver of industrialization and economic growth.

Representing Kosmos, Mensah stated that, “Kosmos put the country on the map in terms of where commercial oil is concerned when we discovered the Jubilee field. We have since been operating in this field. There are so many opportunities for us to drill and get more oil. We think the opportunity is there for us to be able to do more and more. Gas is something we can use to transform the country. When you move from the oil space, you will go to gas before you go to renewables so we need to pay serious attention to that space and help develop the country, create industries and drive growth.”

Speaking on the opportunities in Ghana, Faibille stated that, “There are a lot of new things happening across the hydrocarbon landscape. We are marketing five blocks. In addition to that, we are looking at all kinds of strategies to ensure there is an increase in production and will continue to make the landscape even more attractive than it already is. My call to you is that you should look to Ghana.”

Following on from what Faibille shared, Dr. Asante provides his perspective, stating that, “We believe that when we go through the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, gas will be the transition fuel. Ghana started its decarbonization journey ten years ago. Initially, we were generating power through oil, but in 2010 and 2011, we started importing gas from Nigeria as a substitution. Then, in 2015, we started exploiting our own gas reserves in the Jubilee and TEN fields, which has been a blessing. Ghana is in a good place when it comes to the utilization of gas.”

Additionally, the panelists provided insight into local content and the need for regional collaboration, highlighting how collaboration can drive market growth in Ghana.

“The AEC launched the Team Energy Initiative. When you look at the continent now, there are a lot of companies that are growing. When you have a project that is awarded to a Ghanian company, you can always call on your Nigerian counterpart who is more experienced and will be able to partner and help the executive. As we go along, TEA allows collaboration in Africa,” stated Pappoe.

On a similar note, Acquah stated that, “How do we involve the average Ghanaian businessman? How do we create an enabling environment? You need a local partner, a local investor. We need to find a marriage and coexist.”

What’s more, the panel provided insight into the country’s energy transition, making a case for a mixed resource approach whereby every resource plays a role.

“We want to ultimately get to net zero. One thing is clear, to get to a point where we have clean energy sources, there is no pathway where fossil fuels will not be considered. There is a case for gas. Natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel so we need to find a way to incorporate gas in our production process. To attract financing, we need to be able to incorporate those aspects. Ghana is clear that we need to have an energy mix. Once we have that, we will reassure the investment committee that we are focused on the environment,” stated Williams.

Expanding on this, Afriyie added that, “We are speaking a lot about the just energy transition. On one hand, how can Ghana retain and attract investment to bring onstream the enormous hydrocarbon projects? On the other hand, there is a pool of capital out there that can be ring fenced for the ESG element of the sector. We are blessed with renewables. We are looking at how we can accelerate the development of hydrocarbons but are also looking at the plethora of financing available to scale up renewables in Ghana.”

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