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Energy Crisis: Nobody in investor community wants to deal with Ghana – John Jinapor

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John Abdulai Jinapor, the MP for Yapei Kusawgu, has expressed concerns that Ghana is being perceived as an unwelcoming environment for petroleum sector investments.

John Jinapor noted in a myjoyonline.com news report, drew attention to the increasing hesitance of investors to pursue opportunities in Ghana.

“When you introduce yourself as coming from Ghana, the first question they ask is ‘What is happening in Ghana?

“If you talk to the investor community, nobody wants to deal with Ghana. ENI had a major challenge with Ghana and it is not just them, even Tullow is trying to go to international arbitration over what they termed as creeping tax regimes that go against their fiscal regime.”

Despite efforts by the Energy Ministry and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to attract investment from across the world, regulatory unpredictability continues to deter potential investors, experts have said.

This comes after a PIAC report disclosed that crude oil production in Ghana declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2023.

Throwing light on happenings in the upstream petroleum sector, the report indicated that crude oil production reduced “from a high of 71.44 million barrels in 2019 to 48.25 million barrels in 2023.”

This represents an annual average decline of 9.2%.

Of the 48 million barrels, 63% came from the Jubilee Fields, 23% from SGN and 14% from TEN.

“For the year 2023, a total of 48,247,036.61 barrels (bbls) was produced from the three producing fields; Jubilee – 30,444,217 bbls (63%); TEN – 6,716,278 bbls (14%) and SGN 11,086,541.61 bbls (23%).”

Commenting on the development, Mr Jinapor stressed the need for Ghana to enhance its competitive edge to attract the desired investments in the highly competitive petroleum sector.

“Recently, Guyana has made some big discoveries and everybody is going there. We were far ahead of Cote d’Ivoire and it is not just the ENI country director that has relocated there.

“Most of the service companies are relocated to Cote d’Ivoire, and what they do is move from Cote d’Ivoire, come offshore, do whatever they have to do, and go back to Cote d’Ivoire. So we are losing our competitive edge and that is very worrying.”

He pointed out a significant decline in Ghana’s oil production, noting that in 2019 the country peaked at around 197,000 barrels per day, but today it is producing about 138,000 barrels per day.

“In 2019, we produced about 71 million barrels of oil. Today, we are doing just about 50 million; from 2019 to date, oil production has declined by more than 32%.”

Mr Jinapor expressed concern over the lack of new oil fields since 2017, stating, “There has been no additional oil field since 2017. We haven’t added anything apart from the three main producing oil fields that the NPP inherited. There’s been no new FPSO but the worrying thing is that the big boys are exiting Ghana.”

He emphasised the negative impact of major companies leaving the country, which creates a ripple effect in the industry.

“AGM has left, Anadarko has left, ExxonMobil kept complaining that the acreage is too small. They are in deep water so don’t subject them to the same level as those in shallow water. That did not happen.

“ExxonMobil has exited. And most of these companies are going to our neighbours, so Ghana is losing big time. I’m very worried as a Ghanaian and as an MP at the rate at which the oil is declining.”

John Jinapor warned that if the trend continues, it may soon become commercially unproductive for Ghana to maintain its oil sector.

“Very soon, it may not even be commercially productive or prudent because you must first break even in the short run. If your cost of production is higher.”

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