Ghana’s Multi-Faceted Energy Agenda Discussed During AEC Working Visit

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The African Energy Chamber (AEC), serving as the voice of the African energy sector, recently conducted a working visit to Ghana, meeting with key institutions and stakeholders to discuss the state of play of the country’s oil and gas sector. Throughout the visit, parties discussed Ghana’s energy expansion agenda, which is largely driven by heightened exploration and production as well investment in the country’s downstream industry. 

First and foremost, the AEC met with Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the country’s Minister of Energy, where the conversation largely centered on the Ministry’s priorities for 2023 and beyond. Focused on expanding the country’s upstream prospects, the Minister identified exploration and infrastructure expansion as key objectives. Currently, the Ministry is looking at allocating new blocks, engaging with active and potential upstream players while reviewing the country’s fiscal terms to incentivize new investment and global participation in the sector. Additionally, the Minister emphasized the role bilateral cooperation will play in expanding the sector, with nations such as Saudi Arabia already representing strong partners – the two nations are collaborating on a clean cooking initiative. As the country becomes increasingly attractive, the Minister emphasized the role the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) 2023, will play in connecting independents with Ghanian upstream opportunities.

Thereafter, the AEC met with the Ghana National Oil Company (GNPC), where priorities including advancing onshore drilling were discussed. Representing a relatively untapped market, Ghana’s onshore prospects are becoming increasingly attractive, particularly as fiscal terms are being improved and regional demand for oil and gas increases. Currently, the GNPC is targeting the drilling of the Voltaian Onshore Basin by Q1, 2024, while additionally looking at developing a $150 million logistics hub in-country. With the company pursuing partners to farm-in and finance both projects, AEW 2023 was identified as the ideal platform to connect investors with Ghanian stakeholders.

Similarly, the Ghana National Gas Company is also looking at positioning the country as a regional energy hub, prioritizing securing investment in infrastructure to kickstart projects such as the $600 million Takoradi-Tema Interconnection Project and a $700 million gas processing plant. Both projects promise new opportunities for revenue generation and energy security as Ghana moves to monetize its domestic resources while strengthening intra-African trade. During AEW 2023, these projects will be showcased to a suite of regional and global investors, and interested partners are encouraged to join the high-level event and meet with representatives from Ghana.

On the downstream side, the AEC met with Ghana’s downstream regulator, The National Petroleum Authority, where the CEO, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, identified his top three priorities: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) expansion; LPG cylinder recirculation; and reducing emissions. The AEC also met with GOIL Company Limited, a government downstream marketer who is in the midst of entering the upstream market. Recently, GOIL inherited a Block from ExxonMobil, and are now actively seeking a farm-in partner to help develop the block. In addition to an ambitious upstream agenda, the company is also constructing two LPG bottling plants.

Following these meetings, the AEC met with the Petroleum Commission of Ghana, where discussions centered on the need to accelerate drilling in-country. Having initiated a series of reforms aimed at improving fiscal terms for upstream players, whereby ultra-deep and shallow prospects would be taxed on a sliding scale – with ultra-deep taxed the least -, the company is aggressively pursuing an attractive environment for investment. The reforms are currently being reviewing by the Ministry of Energy, and are set to be implemented later this year.

Additionally, the Petroleum Commission emphasized their intent of securing new entrants in the upstream market. For independents, the country’s unexplored basins represent both a unique and highly attractive market, and the Petroleum Commission is eager to collaborate with frontier E&P players to open up new basins for development. Currently, three blocks are on offer with data; a series of unexplored blocks are on offer; as well as an additional three with Ghanian participation that are looking for farm-in partners. In this scenario, AEW 2023 represents the best platform where independents can be introduced to Ghanian opportunities.

Finally, the AEC met with the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), where the company made clear its ambitious investment agenda in 2023. Focused on promoting the country as the destination of choice for foreign investment, the GIPC is committed to engaging with a variety of stakeholders to grow Ghana’s nascent energy sector. Events such as AEW 2023 will play a critical role in this regard, and Ghana is set to make a strong play for investment during this year’s conference. With the country positioning itself to become a regional energy hub, significant investment opportunities are emerging, and the AEC’s annual energy event, AEW 2023 – taking place in Cape Town from October 16-20, 2023 – is set to play a critical role in driving new investment into Ghana’s energy sector.

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