Ghana announced the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in June 2007. The companies exploring for the oil are UK-based Tullow Oil, Texas-based Kosmos Energy and Anadarko Petroleum.
There are other junior oil and gas exploration companies operating in the country.
The call was made by Professor Andy Mckay, lecturer at the Economics Department of the University of Sussex in the UK.
Prof. Mckay was speaking on Monday at the first of a monthly collaborative lecture organised by the Institute of Social, Statistical and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Accra, the GNA reports.
Prof. Mckay, who is also a development expert with the Overseas Development Institute in London, made the call, to stimulate debate on the country’s oil find and management of the resource, in respect to the alleviation of poverty and structural transformation.
He said government should put in place laws as well as effective monitoring of the revenue that would accrue from the exploration to ensure that the people benefited from it.
Prof. Mckay said while the country moved into oil production, there was the likelihood that the authorities would neglect other productive sectors of the economy.
He said oil revenue should rather be used to transform the development of the agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors of the economy to ensure even development.
Ghana is set to become one of Africa’s newest oil exporters in June 2010 when production begins at the offshore Jubilee field, which has potential resources of as much as 1.8 billion barrels, according to Tullow.
The Jubilee oil field has 17 wells and it is said to be the largest to be discovered in West Africa in the last 10 to 15 years.
Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Kwabena Donkor had said that under Phase One of the Jubilee Field project, 120,000 barrels of oil and 120,000 million standard cubic feet of dry gas per day would be produced in 2010.
Production would be increased to 240,000 barrels of oil and 240,000 million standard cubic feet of gas per day under the second phase of the Jubilee Field project which is expected to commence in 2013.
According to him, “the appraisals so far conducted indicate that the Jubilee Field contains expected recoverable reserves of about 800 million barrels of light crude, with an upside potential of about three billion barrels”.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi