President John Dramani Mahama has said indigenous small-scale businesses have received $1 billion worth of contracts from petroleum companies since the commencement of commercial production of crude oil in the country.
He said the award of contracts to local enterprises was in compliance with the country’s Local Content and Participation Policy which had created over 7,000 jobs aimed at ensuring that the hydrocarbon resources benefited Ghanaians.
President Mahama was addressing a durbar at the Takoradi Airforce Base on Thursday, a few hours after symbolically turning-on the valve of the Floating Production and Storage Offloading (FPSO) Vessel for the first flow of oil.
He said the oilfield would increase the country’s oil and gas assets and serve as an attractive investment destination for the country.
He said so far the partners had spent four billion dollars on the exploration, development of the oil wells up to the production stage since May 2013, when the Government approved the Plan of Development.
The President indicated that the project would increase jobs, strengthen the existing small-scale enterprises and make Ghana a significant player in oil and gas production in the West African sub-region.
The development of the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) oilfield was led by Tullow Oil and its partners namely; the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Kosmos Energy, Anadarko and PetroSA.
The oilfield, which has 20 years life span, is located in the Deepwater Tano Basin block, 60 kilometres offshore and is expected to produce 76,000 barrels of oil and 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day at peak production.
President Mahama said the field would not only increase the country’s oil revenues but also provide substantial gas reserves to the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant which would in turn supply gas to the Aboadze power enclave for electricity generation.
“The country’s second FPSO vessel was appropriately named after the former President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, in reverence for the pivotal role he played in the development of the oilfield,” he said.
President Mahama commended Tullow Oil and its partners for achieving a remarkable feat in completing the project on schedule and within the budget.
He, thus, applauded them for their great teamwork and co-operation to achieve success, saying; “the project holds a brighter prospect for the nation”.
The President said the development of the TEN oil fields encountered a twin challenge which comprised the maritime boundary dispute with Cote d’lvoire and the global downturn of the oil prices on the international oil market.
He said despite the challenges the partners remained focused and committed for the peaceful resolution of the matter by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.
He, therefore, commended them for the strong bond of friendship and trust exhibited and urged all stakeholders to strictly comply with the directives as well as safe environmental practices.
President Mahama said interventions by the Government to position the economy on the right footing for transformation included the rehabilitation of the Komenda Sugar Factory, the expansion of Takoradi and Tema Ports and Albert Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour, Elmina Fish Processing plant as well as the establishment of a fertilizer and ceramic and tiles factory.
Mr Aidan Heavey, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tullow Oil plc, expressed delight for the historic feat and said it would significantly increase the country’s petroleum revenues and create more investment and job opportunities.
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Minister of Petroleum, said Ghana was fast becoming the preferred investment destination in the West African Sub-region and that the necessary laws and legal frame works were being put in place to protect the nation’s oil and gas industry.
He tasked Tullow Oil to put in place measures that would ensure the effective operation of the facility.
Nana Kwesi Agyeman IX, the Acting President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, expressed gratitude to the Government for the various infrastructure and social interventions in the region and appealed for more of such projects to aid the food production activities there.
Currently 10 out of 24 oil wells had been drilled with a mixture of water and gas injections as well as production wells.