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Enhance investment climate to make it attractive – PIAC to gov’t

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Mark Agyemang, the Technical Manager at the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has suggested that the government should take measures to improve the appeal of the investment environment.

Speaking on Citi TV’s program ‘The Point of View’, he emphasised the need for a stable regulatory framework to draw investors to the upstream sector.

He cautioned that Ghana would soon feel the effects of the global shift towards sustainable energy unless the government proactively develops the upstream industry.

“Our recommendation to the government is very simple and straightforward. We have always said it in our discussions with them. The investment climate should be attractive, there should be consistency in the regulatory regime, and the government through the Petroleum Commission should do the needful in order to attract investments into the upstream industry by learning lessons from the first licensing round.

“Because the energy transition and its effects are real and will catch up with us very soon if we don’t do the needful to develop our upstream industry and bring out the resources that are in the industry,” he told host Bernard Avle.

The Technical Manager of PIAC attributed the decline in Ghana’s oil production in 2016 to technical challenges.

“The issue with 2015 and 2016 is quite peculiar because it was mostly due to technical challenges experienced after 2014, where a part of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah that is on the Jubilee Field developed a fault. Jubilee partners took a decision to reduce production and repair it. That caused a decline in production in 2016,” he stated.

He also outlined the factors that led to the significant increase in production from 2017 to 2019, attributing it to the addition of three producing fields.

“One of the reasons for the increased production in 2017 to 2019, was that a new field was brought on board, which was the Sankofa Gye Nyame Field. So, instead of having one producing field, we had two producing fields, adding onto production and that pushed the production from 2017 all the way to 2019.

“Somewhere 2019, another field was brought onboard, and that made 2019 production quite high. Because instead of having two producing fields, we had three producing fields coming on stream. It shot the highest levels of production that we witnessed in 2019. That is basically the reason for that.”

Regarding the drop in production from 2019 to 2023, he highlighted some challenges the government faced, as well as government inaction.

“From 2019 coming down to 2023, there are basically three main challenges. We have operational or technical challenges. We also have more or less what the country has not done right over that period.”

The 2023 Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) Annual Report revealed that crude oil production in Ghana has decreased for the fourth consecutive year in 2023. The report showed that crude oil production fell from 71.44 million barrels in 2019 to 48.25 million barrels in 2023, representing an annual average decline of 9.2 percent.

Furthermore, the total proceeds from the Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (JOHL) liftings received in 2023, amounting to $70,456,718.93, were not paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) for the second consecutive year.

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