Ghana oilfields in danger - Boakye Agyarko
The recent agitations against the Ghana-United States military cooperation have reached an alarming level, with reports of a plot to blow up oil facilities in the Western Region of Ghana.
According to Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, some disgruntled politicians have been engaging the youth of the area in an attempt to cause disaffection for the operators of the oilfields, similar to what happens in other jurisdictions like Nigeria.
The energy minister, who dropped the hint in Houston, Texas, USA, at a meeting with some oil companies on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), said the disgruntled politicians had polluted the minds of the youth to the point of inciting them to blow up the oil facilities in the oil enclave of the Western Region.
Based on the threat, Mr Boakye Agyarko said soldiers had been engaged to guard the oil installations against any eventuality.
He explained that typical of spreading falsehood, which is the hallmark of the disgruntled politicians, the youth had been told that the Americans had come with submarines to siphon Ghana’s oil.
Some politicians have been on rampage since Ghana signed a controversial military cooperation deal with the United States of America.
Ghana, the energy minister indicated, would not take chances to be caught flatfooted, as it happened in Nigeria where the Ogoni youth agitated against oil companies.
In attendance at the meeting were BP, ExxonMobil, Kosmos, among other players, in the oil and gas industry.
He told the investors that government was in a hurry to increase Ghana’s current oil production capacity from 200,000 barrels a day to spur economic development, highlighting the moves to give out more oil blocks for production.
He said the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) will take active part in the oil sector with the intention to allocate three blocks for exploration while five other blocks would be given out on tender.
“Three of the blocks will be open to competitive bidding while two will be for restricted tendering,” he stated.
The minister also indicated that about $103 million of oil cash had been set aside for the free Senior High School programme, having spent $45 million last year on the programme.
This year’s allocation is more than double the amount spent last year because more admissions are expected later in the year.
“It is the intention of the government to ensure that the revenues generated from the oil find in Ghana are used, among other things, for the socio-economic development of the country, while improving its manpower base,” he said.
Mr. Agyarko assured the investors of protection of their investments while highlighting the opportunities in the fledgling oil and gas industry.
The OTC, which was attended by key players in the oil and gas industry, ended yesterday.
It was the first time that Ghana acquired a pavilion for its participants, with about 11 companies mounting stands in it (pavilion).
The pavilion was put together by Consolidated Shipping Agencies (Conship).