Energy Minister Woos Ghanaians In Diaspora

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Ghana’s Minister for Energy has called on Ghanaians in the diaspora to form partnership to invest in the country’s nascent oil and gas sector.

According to Mr John-Peter Amewu, there are a lot of opportunities in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the country, saying Ghanaian investors should take advantage of these and make investments.

“Come and invest in the petroleum sector of Ghana. The Government of Ghana needs you to help develop the country to where we all aspire it to be as a people. I assure you there is room for everyone,” he said.

John-Peter Amewu made the call when he addressed members of the Ghana-Houston Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) at a reception, under the theme: ‘Strengthening Diaspora Participation In Ghana’s Oil And Gas Sector’ at Chateau Crystalle in Houston, Texas, USA.

Upstream Sector

He drew the attention of Ghanaians in the diaspora to the provisions of the Local Content and Participation Regulations, LI, 2204, which requires at least 5% equity participation of an Indigenous Ghanaian Company (IGC) in each Petroleum Agreement in Ghana.

He said, until an IGC is part of a Petroleum Agreement, the PA would never be ratified.

The Local Content Regulation also empowers the Minister for Energy to waive or allow an IGC acquire less than 5% equity participation in a Petroleum Agreement.

“I encourage you to take advantage of these provisions of the Local Content Regulations (L.I. 2204) to participate in oil and gas exploration and production in Ghana,” he said.

He assured them that Ghana’s sedimentary basins are de-risked and highly prospective, saying, “Our motherland is politically stable and we have some of the best fiscal and regulatory regimes in the world.

“The maritime boundary dispute with our western neighbour has been resolved. Apart from the oil price, even that is also increasing, nothing should scare you from contributing to petroleum exploration and production in Ghana, if you have the wherewithal. Even if you don’t have the wherewithal as an individual, form partnerships and you will be surprised by what you can do together.”

Downstream Sector

Touching on the opportunities in in the downstream, Mr Amewu said government intends to develop a petroleum hub in the country and this, he said, would require refining and processing facilities, port discharge, storage, distribution and transportation facilities, as well as trading petroleum products in Ghana for the West African sub-regional markets to accelerate the growth of the downstream sub-sector.

“There are also farm-in opportunities in some existing licences, and the Petroleum Commission will be on standby to link you with the companies holding such licences. In the case of farm-ins, equity is acquired according to one’s strength.

“Our LPG promotion policy also encourages the use of LPG across the country, which requires the establishment of optimally-sized and professionally operated major LPG refill plants across the country and the expansion of LPG storage and distribution infrastructure to all parts of the country,” he added.

The Minister noted that the downstream local content policy reserves all the opportunities regarding LPG access across the country for Indigenous Ghanaian Companies.

He commended the leadership of the Ghana-Houston Chamber of Commerce for organising the programme.

In an interview with energynewsafrica.com, the Chairman of Ghana-Houston Chamber of Commerce, Mr Henry Ansah, said: “Our membership is not only for oil and gas: we are in all sectors and oil and gas is only one piece our members are involved in. But those who are involved or willing to know more about the oil and gas sector, this partnership will give them that opportunity.

“We have a lot of students here (Houston) who are in the engineering sector and we hope that they will be able to conduct them through what is available in Ghana, so that when they finish school, they will not think of what is only available here (Houston), but have two options-either to work here in the US or repatriate to Ghana.”

He said going forward, the GHCC would to deepen its collaboration with the Ministry of Energy because “it will help us know the recognised and strategic nature that the chamber here can help in working with them.

“I know the theme for this year is: ‘Increasing The Diaspora Participation In Oil And Gas’. I know a lot of people want to go to Ghana but they lack the information on the various sectors. We will provide them with the relevant information, educate them on what they need to know so that they invest right,” he concluded.

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