ACCRA, The Ghanaian government will pursue a policy of more aggressive oil exploration to beef up Ghana’s production capacity for the nation’s socio-economic development, says Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.

Oil plays a key role in Ghana’s development, as “apart from the revenue, we depend on oil for our power generation, there must be a situation where we find both enough oil and gas to make us self-sufficient”, Agyarko said during the induction of members of the Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) hereThursday.

The seven-member Board is chaired by Freddie Blay. Other members are Kofi Kodua Sarpong, the Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC, Professor John S. Nabila, former President of the National House of Chiefs, Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Yaw Kyei, Nana Adjoa Hackman and Kwabena Kwakye.

Agyarko described the current situation in the oil and gas industry as one in which “Yes, we’ve become an oil-producing nation but we cannot sit wallow in the pleasures of what we have found because what we’ve found is credible but given another 10 to 20 years, without any further find our fortunes will begin to decline. We must therefore, adopt a posture of aggressive exploration to add to our oil reserves,” he added.

He said that apart from the discovery of the offshore Jubilee oilfield, Ghana still had Central Basin, Eastern Basin and Voltarian Basin which, if properly explored, could add significantly to the national reserves.

“The fact that we are now an oil producing nation imposes an onerous responsibility on us as a nation and more particularly on GNPC to husband this non-renewable natural resource, maximise its use for the transformation of our nation,” he said.

The nation’s oil must be used in such a way that when it runs out, posterity will feel that it has being used wisely for their benefit, he added. “We cannot therefore, afford to go down the slippery slopes as other nations, for whom the blessings of oil has become a curse.”