Oil production in the Jubilee Fields has seen a gradual growth from between 70,000-80,000 barrels per day in 2012, to near full capacity of around 110,000 barrels per day in 2014, Professor Thomas Mba Akabzaa, Chief Director of the Ministry of Petroleum, has disclosed.
He said with enabling legislative and policy framework to address issues of local content and participation, the country could increase its production of oil to two million barrels per day, and gas 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, with an expected US$ 65 billion in the near future.
Professor Akabzaa made this disclosure in a lecture on the topic ‘Ghana’s economic development challenges: The energy factor,’ at the maiden edition of the University of Ghana’s College of Basic and Applied Science public lecture series held on Thursday, at the Great Hall.
The former Head of the Geology Department of the UG said the value of the downstream sector which involved refining, storage, internal transportation, marketing and sale of petroleum products, increased from GH¢8.65 billion in 2013 to GH¢11.6 billion in 2014, representing about 10 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
He said there had been about 23 new oil and gas discoveries, with potential to increase the estimated wells.
Delivering a paper on ‘Ghana’s economic development challenges: The energy factor,’ Prof. Akabzaa said since the discoveries, there had been significant investments in the upstream sector, adding that “currently, oil resources are estimated at about two billion barrels, while gas is around three to five Trillion Cubic Feet”.
He said it was clear that the contribution of the petroleum sector to the country’s economic development was not hard to appreciate, saying “in terms of how oil and gas can benefit the local economy, there is wide agreement of the relationship between the consumption of petroleum products and development.
“Whatever direction of causation of this relationship may be, that is, whether development leads to higher consumption of petroleum products, or that the consumption of petroleum products is the engine of growth and development, both directions point to a common appreciation of the relationship between petroleum products and development,” he added.
Prof Akabzaa said spatial and sector differences in economic growth and development were easily explained, using petroleum products and consumption statistics, explaining further that sectorial consumption of petroleum products showed linkages to growth and development.
The Chief Director said breakdown of consumption per region indicated that Greater Accra Region recorded the highest level of consumption, followed by Ashanti and Western regions, while Upper West region recorded the lowest level of consumption.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman