The Upstream Petroleum Service Providers Association of Ghana ( UPSPAG) has been launched in Takoradi to work with stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to promote the interest of indigenous service providers and producers.
The Association with 12 members has Dr Douglas Zormelo of Zormelo and Associates as the President and it is aimed at promoting the interest of its members and providing relevant training and development for the members to enable them participate effectively in the industry.
It is also to influence and monitor the implementation of the local content law, push for the development of indigenously owned businesses to take on commanding roles in the value chain of the industry as well as provide feedback to the Petroleum Commission and the Ministry of Energy on actual the implementation of the local content law.
Dr Zormelo in his inaugural address said the Association which commenced business in September this year is seeking to build Ghanaian expertise in all aspects of oil and gas exploration, development and production, including upstream services.
This, he said, would enable Ghanaians to take charge of the entire value chain of the sector with the required minimum foreign assistance as is the case in the UK, Norway, Scotland, Angola and Nigeria.
He said the development of the oil and gas sector expertise for various sectors of the economy along the value chain include shipping and freight vessels, environmental protection, banking and financing, legal services, human resources as well as engineering services.
Dr Zormelo said just as in countries like Scotland, Norway, Brazil and Nigeria, it is also important for the country to maximise the benefits that would accrue to its citizens.
The UPSPAG President said though Ghana has passed a law (LI 2204) which is geared towards ensuring maximum participation in the industry, service providers need to bring issues to the attention of the Petroleum Commission to ensure the implementation of the law so as to create opportunities for local industries.
He said the Association would conduct research on the upstream sector, lobby parliament, train and build capacity of its members as well as organise regular seminars to make their presence felt.
He said they would also share resources and expertise as well as jobs with those who do not have so that they would be on their feet.
Dr Zormelo said the Association would be a one –stop- shop in the oil and gas industry adding that they would do their best to sort various concerns for government accrue more revenue from the oil and gas industry.
He said they would work together as a team so as to create more job opportunities for the youth and also ensure that those in the upstream business grow from strength to strength.
Dr Zormelo called on the few Ghanaian companies in the oil and gas industry to collaborate amongst themselves so that many more companies would benefit from the oil and gas industry.
He said the Association would be a repository for information to advocate and influence policies in the oil and gas industry
Mr Joseph Jojo Biney, Chief Executive Officer of Bajfreight and Logistics and founding member of the Association, said the association would also embark on outsourcing of relevant mutually beneficial programmes.
He said the oil and gas industry is a knowledge driven industry and it is imperative for them to share ideas and unite.