Ghana’s oil production will reach 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2020, says Michael Aryeetey, the Chief Operating Officer of GNPC Exploration and Production Company Limited (Explorco), the oil operations arm of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

(Eds note: Ghana’s crude oil production was estimated at less than 60,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2016).

This will be attained when the three oil fields which have been developed would reach their peak production, he says, adding: “This is good news for all stakeholders, including the people of Ghana.”

“However, this trend will not last if investment into the industry stalls, the pace of exploration us reduced, we do not find more oil and gas, and we do not commercialise our finds,” Aryeetey added in a lecture at the Seventh College of Basic and Applied Sciences of the University of Ghana here last week.

He said currently about 50 per cent of the sedimentary basin offshore was open for prospecting but with very little activity, while the Voltaian basin, covering some 103,000 square kilometres, was undergoing some level of exploration, led by GNPC.

The basin would also be available for licensing to investors in the next two years or so. Offshore Ghana still hosts a number of stranded or captured resources which cannot be commercialised on their own,” he noted.

“It is important that going forward, all stakeholders come together and find ways through which these resources can be commercialized either together or in clusters. Ghana’s oil reserves currently stand at 1.27 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). This is relatively small compared with Nigeria’s 40 billion boe.

“With almost 200 million barrels already produced, we must all work together to improve our replacement ratio by finding and developing more resources.”

He said it was the expectation that even though oil prices generally continue the downward pressure in response to higher supply against lower demand, when the problem was resolved in the country’s favour, Ghana would continue to attract serious and well established oil companies who would work with GNPC and Explorco to ensure that an aggressive exploration and development activities in the basins were sustained.

“This is key for us because increased exploration, development and production activities will lead to increased work load and demand for local participation and use of local goods and services,” Aryeetey said.