Petroleum Commission to set up Technology Transfer Unit, Jan

The Petroleum Commission will in January next year set up a technology transfer unit as part of measures to help indigenous Ghanaian companies (IGCs) to build their capacity, participate in highly technical areas in the upstream oil and gas sector.

This follows a monitoring exercise which revealed that many IGCs lacked the capability to undertake core technical works on their own, while there was low readiness to acquire the skills from International Oil Companies (OICs).

At the opening of the 7th Local Content Conference in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr, said this had created the situation where expatriates from OICs had dominated the work.

 “What the commission is trying to avert is the situation where in 10 to 20 years time, the story would be that it is only foreign entities that can do the high end technical jobs,” he said.

The two-day conference organised by the Commission affords stakeholders the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues, especially pertaining to local content as stipulated in the Local Petroleum (Local Content And Local Participation) Regulations, 2013 (L.I 2204).

This year’s virtual edition, on the theme: “Optimising Technology Transfer in Ghana’s upstream petroleum Industry,” is being attended by more than 300 participants.

Mr Faibille said the monitoring exercise conducted earlier this year was to assess the level of compliance with Regulations 23, 24, 25 and 26 of L.I 2204 which required IOC to facilitate transfer of technologies to IGCs.

 “It was disappointing to find out that some JV companies and their IGCs counterparts in engineering and fabrication businesses do not even have a yard or operational base of their own”, he said.

Mr Faibille said the Unit was being created at the Local Content directorate of the commission to help the IGCs to position themselves well within two to five years to handle high end goods and services.

He said among the over 1,700 goods and services procured by Exploration and Production companies, majority of them were highly technical with high commercial values, thus, urged IGCs to  be proactive and take benefit .

He commended the IOCS that were transferring technology and urged the others to help support the government’s technology transfer agenda in the upstream petroleum industry.

On the Local Content Fund, he said by next year the government would have decided on whether it should be given out as loans to the IGCs or be used to build their capacity.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku- Prempeh, said since the introduction of the  L.I 2204, many Ghanaian individuals and companies had built capacities to participate in the oil and gas industry , but more needed to be done to enable Ghanaians move higher up the ladder.

He called for public and private sector synergy towards technology transfer and local content development and pledged the government’s readiness to create the enabling environment for the same.

The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere-Darko, said some youth in the region had benefited from capacity building and endorsed calls for technology transfer to create more jobs.

 BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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