Mr Daniel S. Amlalo, the Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has disclosed that the Government has initiated processes to commence exploration activities in the onshore Voltaian Basin.
He said geological survey carried out in the Voltaian Basin by the Soviet Geological Survey Team between 1962 and 1966 showed the potential of oil and gas in the Northern Region and other parts of the country.
Mr Amlalo said this in a speech read on his behalf during the Northern Regional stakeholder’s consultation process on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the potential Voltaian Basin; gas and oil development, in Tamale.
The meeting, organised by the Ministry of Petroleum, in collaboration with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the EPA, was to engage stakeholders about possible future development of oil and gas.
It was also to enable the stakeholders to share information and engage their relevant parties in local dialogue processes.
Mr Amlalo said EPA would present the necessary guidelines and recommendations to enhance opportunities to minimise risks in those potential areas.
Mr Samuel Kofi Agbetsiafa, the Senior Programme Officer of Petroleum at EPA, said the SEA project would increase access to liquefied petroleum gas to 50 per cent by 2020.
He said the discovery of the oil and gas at the Voltaian Basin would not affect the forest reserves.
According to him the livelihoods of the beneficiaries had been taken into consideration to provide guidance for the protection for such areas whilst at the same time exploiting petroleum resources in the Basin.
Mr Seth Folie, the Senior Environmental Engineer of GNPC, said the SEA would have positive impacts on the local economy.
He said challenges with other land users and settlements such as macroeconomic impacts would be paid for from revenue from the project.
He said the disturbance to forestry, agriculture and local businesses would be addressed during the exploitation.