“Aggressive capacity development of the local content is the only way the indigenes can match the expatriates in the oil and gas industry,” said Michael Nii Armah Aryeetey, Chief Operating Officer of the newly established GNPC Exploration and Production Company Limited (EXPLORCO).
He was speaking at the seventh College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) Public Lecture at the University of Ghana, which formed part of a lecture series designed by the CBAS particularly for the university community, and the public, in general.
The lecture which was on the topic, “Introduction to Ghana’s oil industry: History and future trends”, brought together oil and gas experts, students and media practitioners.
The Chief Operating Officer said the challenges in the oil and gas industry needed people who have the expertise to surmount, a requirement which many indigenous workers had failed to meet.
He said comprehensive plans were underway to train Ghanaians to enable them to take part in the operation and management of a wider portfolio of producing assets.
Mr. Aryeetey said government was finding a means to replenish the reserves at Jubilee field as about 180 million barrels had already been produced.
He said: “All over the world, oil producing countries would ensure that producing is aggressive, so that we find more oil and develop more fields.”
Mr. Aryeetey said GNPC was pioneering exploration activities which began last year in the Voltarian Basin under its five-year initial exploration programme, aimed at enhancing prospectivity and expanding the knowledge base of the basin.
As part of its strategic goal to attain a world-class operator, GNPC seeks to invest in high impact initiatives for the replacement and growth of reserves, and create the appropriate environment for Ghanaian participation in the upstream sector of the petroleum industry.
Going into the future and to ensure that the industry remained competitive and attractive to investors, he said GNPC was focused on developing the upstream sector by building national capacity to actively participate in the operation.
With the upstream growing steadily, he expressed the hope that Ghana would maximise the use of its share of the revenue from oil proceeds for the benefits of all.
By Dennis Kwame Amegede