Accra,-The Petroleum Commission, Ghana is hosting the 7th Annual Local Content Conference on technology transfer among upstream industry players to ensure well-coordinated joint ventures among local and foreign companies.

The two-day conference has the theme: “Optimising Technology Transfer in Ghana’s Upstream Petroleum Industry” and it is expected to focus on optimising technology transfer and bring to the fore, relevant issues that stakeholders could discuss to enhance local participation in the industry.

The 2021 conference being held virtually due to COVID-19, is featuring insightful speakers with knowledge gained from several years of experience in the upstream oil and gas industry.

Mr Egbert Faibille Junior, Chief Executive Officer, Petroleum Commission (PC), welcomed the over 350 participants who joined the meeting virtually, and explained that it had become necessary to discuss the issue of technology transfer under the local content development.

He said the conference coincided with a rigorous exercise carried out by the Commission earlier this year to assess the level of compliance with Regulations 23, 24, 25 and 26 of L.I 2204 of the Petroleum Regulations 2013, during which the Commission realized that urgent steps needed to be taken to address some challenges hindering the advancement of technology transfer to Indigenous Ghanaian Companies (IGCs) in Joint Ventures (JVs).

“It was realised among others that many IGCs are not participating in the core technical areas with high prospect of technology acquisition and there is low preparedness of IGCs to receive technology.

“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.

“This necessitated the Commission to take necessary measures to address this phenomenon and to use this year’s conference to address challenges of technology transfer.” Mr Faibille Jnr said.

He said through series of engagements with Joint Venture companies, the Commission identified that the success of local content development would also depend largely upon the strict adherence of JV partners fulfilling their respective technology transfer programmes, aimed at developing technological capacity and skills set of Indigenous Ghanaian Companies (IGCs) as required by L.I. 2204 – “a much-needed skills set needed to build capacities in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.”

Mr Faibille Jnr mentioned that transfer of technology was one of the significant issues in oil and gas contracts and that developing countries like Ghana were concern about controlling all phases of their industry’s operation which in turn, had led to their awareness of the need to acquire adequate understanding of the related technology.

“Without some mastery of oil technology, petroleum developing countries cannot ensure, for instance that their exploration efforts are adequate and that production rates are consistent with their national interest and oil requirements.”

He explained that technology transfer involved the transfer of tools, equipment, machinery, and other technology related hardware; Skills development including experience, expertise/know-how, skills, relevant certifications, innovations; as well as Information/databased solutions, software, design drawings, procedures; and, Organisational development strategies, which would aid in the development, absorption, and utilization of available or new technology.

Mr Andrew Agyapa Mercer, Deputy Minister of Energy, who represented the sector Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, emphasised on the need for public and private sector synergy towards technology transfer and local content development.

“Frequent interactions must be encouraged and opportunities for capacity building be identified as well as pursued with private vigorously”, he stated.

He urged both International Oil Companies and indigenous Ghanaian companies engaged in joint ventures to strictly adhere to technology transfer laws in Ghana, particularly, the Petroleum Local Content Regulations, while the foreign companies should do their best to transfer the knowledge to the local ones, a requirement that allowed the foreign companies to renew their social contract.

Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, acknowledged that over the years, the Region had witnessed some level of progress in terms of its share of utilization of oil and gas resources and revenues to improve the livelihoods of the region’s inhabitants.

“However, over the last few years, under the NPP government the Region has experienced improvements in all developmental areas that is transforming the capabilities of Indigenous Ghanaian Companies and their ability to cope with the technological challenges of the oil industry”.

He therefore, urged the indigenous companies, especially in the Western region to take the opportunity to deepen their understanding in technology transfer and be well abreast of the processes and methods involved.

“It will be delightful to see indigenous businesses build their ability to receive technologies and then afterwards create future technologies to be utilized by the industry,” he said.

Among the participants were heads of Upstream Petroleum Companies, Captains of Industry, and Board Members of the Petroleum Commission, Directors, Management and Staff of the Commission.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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