News / Economy

Ghana Wants Locals to Benefit from Oil Production

FILE - Ghana's President John Atta Mills turns on the valve to allow the first barrel of crude to flow from the Jubilee offshore oil field.
FILE - Ghana's President John Atta Mills turns on the valve to allow the first barrel of crude to flow from the Jubilee offshore oil field.
Joana Mantey
A new law in Ghana requires oil and gas companies to make greater use of local products and services.  
 
The broad objective of the new law, known as Petroleum Regulation on Local Content and Participation, is to create jobs and promote business development.

It gives preference to local groups in the granting of licenses for petroleum activities.  The law further gives Ghanaians the opportunity to own up to a five percent stake in any investment by an international company.

Ghana discovered offshore oil deposits in 2007, and commercial production began in 2010.

The country's Petroleum Commission is convinced the new law will help more oil revenue reach the people.

The chief executive officer of the commission, Theo Ahwireng, said local participation in the oil sector will be a big boost to Ghana's economy.
 
“It is through participation that you develop the skills of the people, so that at the end of the day when the oil wealth is gone, you will leave an economy with skilled people and skilled business," he said. "We’ve had fantastic response from a great number of the companies.  We have sat with them to help them go through the procurement process and I must say the support has been very good."

However, it remains unknown whether the law will create more jobs in offshore oil exploration and drilling.  Local companies active in the oil sector mostly offer onshore services such as engineering, construction, security and transport.  

Some of the local companies are small and poorly structured.  If they try to compete for lucrative offshore contracts, they stand to face stiff competition from more experienced firms from abroad.

Awhireng hopes a proposed enterprise development center, set up in partnership with international oil companies, would help local workers and businesses gain the skills that oil companies need.

“Nobody wakes up from the beginning and becomes a dynamic gold medallist," he said. "You need to go through a development process.  I know that most of the rig workers that we have at the moment are a legacy of the work during the 80’s between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire.  Definitely, these gentlemen are advanced in age and there is need for us to get younger people.  Currently, the Petroleum Commission is embarking on an exhaustive human resource mapping to look at the skills that are applicable; those that we have in Ghana and those that we don’t have and find out exactly what we need to do to develop these competencies locally."
 
The executive director of Ghana’s Oil and Gas Service Providers Association, Nuertey Adzeman, describes the new law as the best thing ever to happen in the country’s oil industry.   He said its provisions can lead to "winning situations" for both international investors and local companies hoping to profit from Ghana's growing oil sector.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.