Oil drilling platform Shengli No.4 is in the midst of shipment at the outer anchorage of a port in Yantai, east China’s Shandong province, Feb. 8, 2018. The Shengli No. 4 and the New Shengli No.1 will be sent to Nigeria for oil exploration services. (Photo by Chu Yang from CFP)
Oil drilling platform Shengli No.4 is in the midst of shipment at the outer anchorage of a port in Yantai, east China’s Shandong province, Feb. 8, 2018. The Shengli No. 4 and the New Shengli No.1 will be sent to Nigeria for oil exploration services. (Photo by Chu Yang from CFP)

Ghana’s Energy Minister John Peter Amewu said here Tuesday over 600 indigenous Ghanaian companies had been awarded various contracts to provide services in the oil and gas industry.

Amewu was addressing the opening session of the 4th Africa Oil Governance Summit organized by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) under the theme “Harnessing the Potential of Local Content for Economic Growth and Inclusive Development”.

The West African country discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2007 and commenced actual production in the last quarter of 2010.

The country subsequently in November 2013 passed the Legislative Instrument (L. I. 2204) to inter alia promote maximization of value-addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services business, financing in the petroleum industry value chain and their retention in Ghana.

At the commencement of oil production at the Jubilee Field off Cape Three Points in the south-western part of the country, less than 100 Ghanaian firms were registered to provide services in the oil and gas industry.

“As at September 2018, over 600 indigenous Ghanaian companies have been registered and are providing goods and services in the industry. For example, the Sankofa-Gye Nyame field in Ghana has awarded over 320 contracts worth 1.8 billion USD to indigenous Ghanaian companies and about 56 percent of workers on the Floating Production storage and Offloading (FPSO) in Ghana.

“The ENI or the Offshore Cape Three Point (OCTP) project has also awarded about 6.2 billion US dollars out of 1.56 trillion representing 28 percent of contract awarded to Ghanaian companies within the period.”

The minister further disclosed that the oil and gas industry currently employed between 75 to 78 percent local workforce in the middle level and managerial roles.

Notwithstanding the remarkable success story achieved in the country’s local content agenda, the Ghanaian Energy Minister highlighted some teething problems.

“In spite of our increased local content participation in the sector, the local companies are faced with numerous challenges ranging from lack of finance, human and capital development technology, among others. This goes a long way to adversely affect their competitiveness in the industry.”

The minister urged participants at the summit to discuss the and come out with strategies that will lead to addressing some, if not all the bottlenecks confronting local participation in resource-rich countries.

Executive Director for ACEP Benjamin Boakye said organizers of the summit decided to touch on local content.

“We note that the subject of local content is very important for resource-rich countries. The evolution of local content laws and policies across the region is a testament to a certain consensus that resource rich countries want more benefit from their natural resource wealth beyond the fiscal take.”

He expressed the view that the right approach and implementation of local content to harness the needed development was still an issue that needed further deliberations by various stakeholders.

Boakye further called on participants to further think of creating more opportunities for women participation in the oil and gas industry since it employs about 22 percent of women.

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