Ghana’s Local Content Policy received a major boost at the ongoing Offshore, North Sea Conference (ONS) in Stavanger, Norway.

This follows a commitment by Norwegian Oil giant, Aker Energy which is yet to commence commercial oil production in Ghana, to deepen the policy by awarding more contracts to indigenous Ghanaian Small and Medium Enterprises and Setups that provide oil and gas services.

This was disclosed by the Chief Executive for the Petroleum Commission (PC) Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr when addressing officials from the Norwegian -African Business Association, Norwegian Energy Partners (NOWREP), Aker  Energy, Ghanaian companies and other foreign investors on Tuesday August 28th,2018.

Aker Energy has successfully completed all the necessary and relevant agreements to begin commercial oil production in Ghana at the end of 2021.

In June this year, the company acquired Hess Corporation’s stake in the deep water Tano Cape Three Point block in the Western Region.

Mr. Faibille said the commission was worried about the numerous complaints from registered Ghanaian indigenous service providers about the lack of contracts from International Oil companies. He said Aker has promised to award a lot of contracts to Ghanaian service providers when they commence commercial operations in Ghana.

According to Mr. Faibille, Ghana was looking forward to building the necessary partnerships and synergies with credible upstream companies such as Aker Energy but further warned particularly Ghanaian service providers or joint ventures not to cannibalise all contracts or indulge in questionable business deals.

Mr. Faibille Jnr said the commission will hold Aker Energy to their promise of taking Ghana’s Local Content policy to another level.

“If that promise is going to be made effective, the expectation is that joint ventures have to be formed and transparency in contracts also followed up and carried through”, He emphasised.

The Petroleum Commission promised Aker Energy that in line with the laws of Ghana, the commission will ensure transparency in its  transactions and expect to reciprocate the gesture by introducing the Norwegian module which is a blue print for Ghana.

He told the business gathering that when contracts and sub contracts become available they have to ensure that the needed partnerships and synergies are achieved.

He advised them to avert the situation where one company forms several companies in order to win more contracts since such companies will have their contracts cancelled.

Managing Director Of Norwegian -Aftican Business Association, Eivind Fjeldstad revealed that Ghana’s meeting to host investors on Thursday August 30th,2018 at the on going second trade mission in Stavanger, Norway has 138 companies registered to attend which he described as unprecedented.

Dr. Gulbrand Wangen, Director Africa ,Midstream at Norwegian Energy Partners(NOWREP) said in the last 20 years, Ghana is the only country to have sent a large delegation to NOWREP.

He said Aker Energy’s presence in Ghana is the first time a Norwegian Oil company is going to operate in Africa.

Dr Wangen promised to bring more Norwegian upstream sector players to Ghana to fulfill the dream of Ghana’s Petroleum Commission. In conclusion he said about thirty-five (35) Norwegian upstream companies have expressed interest in doing business in Ghana and thirteen (13) of them are already having related meetings in Ghana.

Country Manager of Aker, Mr. Jan Helge Skoken said there are a lot of opportunities in developing the capacity of local service companies.

“Gradually, our presence in Ghana is becoming a reality” He commended the Commission, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and the Energy and Petroleum Ministry for the immense support enjoyed so far.

Meanwhile, the deputy Energy Minister in charge of Finance and Infrastructure and MP for Effia in the Western Region, Joseph Cudjoe who also spoke at the conference assured the business community of government’s commitment to continuously create a conducive business and stable political environment to safeguard their investments in the country.

Emmanuel Ohene -Gyan
Stavanger, Norway