Ghana commits to helping Guyana build capacity in Oil & Gas Sector

President David Granger and his Ministers of Government engaging in bilateral talks with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his delegation during a high-level meeting at State House on Tuesday. (DPI Photo)

THE Government of the Republic of Ghana has pledged to support Guyana in the development of its Oil and Gas Industry through capacity building.

President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo offered his support on Tuesday, when he led a high-level delegation into bilateral talks with President David Granger and his ministers at State House.

Moments after the high-profile meeting, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon told journalists that the two countries with strong historical ties, would be engaging in technical cooperation.

He explained that President Akufo-Addo gave a clear commitment to have Oil and Gas experts from Ghana travel to Guyana to assist in the development of the Oil and Gas Industry with a majority of the expense being covered by the Ghanaian Government.

“We are talking about capacity; capacity building. We are talking about (building) the capacity of the Department of Energy. Ultimately, the President has spoken about the establishment of a Ministry of Energy, and so this is really going to require an expanded level of talent of persons and their skills,” Minister Harmon explained.

According to reports, Ghana has between 5 and 7 billion barrels of petroleum in reserves, which is the sixth largest in Africa and the 25th largest proven reserves in the world.

Added to that, the West African nation has up to 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in reserves, reports suggest. With commercial quantities of offshore oil reserves in Ghana discovered in the 1970s, the country has a wealth of knowledge in the Oil and Gas Sector.

President Akufo-Addo’s commitment comes weeks after a Ghanaian delegation met with the Director of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, and discussed possible cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector.

That delegation was led by Ghana’s Minister of Energy and Deputy Minister (Petroleum) Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, and included Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana, Napoleon Abdulai and 15 others.

During that meeting, Dr. Bynoe, who was accompanied by Oil and Gas Advisor, Matthew Wilks; and Project Co-coordinator and Legal Advisor in the Department of Energy, Joanna Simmons, said Guyana is open to technical support in the budding sector.

He said his department does not underestimate the momentous task ahead and it continues to seek partnerships to ensure that it obtains the best value for the nation.
“We do not pretend to have all the answers to all the challenges that are before us, but we are very much positioned and we are keen to learn from others; the good, the not so good and even the indifferent experiences so we do not have to trod the same path which others may have trod before us,” he said.

U.S oil giant, ExxonMobil, has made 13 oil discoveries to date, offshore Guyana, in the Stabroek Block. With well over 5.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels in the Stabroek Block, production is expected to commence in March, 2020. The developments in Guyana’s budding Oil and Gas Sector augur well for the country with a population of approximately 750,000 people, observers have said.

With these significant developments in the budding Oil and Gas Sector, President Granger has said that a Minister of Energy would become a necessity; however, this important authority would not be established before 2020. Until then, the Department of Energy is overseeing the sector’s development.