Upstream petroleum sector: Deputy Speaker slams low local input …after 10 years of local content law passage

The First Deputy Speak­er of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has charged the Petroleum Commission (PC) to ensure that many Ghanaians are trained to actively participate in Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector.

He said after 16 years of oil discovery in commercial quantities and 10 years of the passage of local content and participation laws, the dominance of expatriates in the sector should reduce.

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (third from right), Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu
(fourth from right) and other dignitaries launching the Petroleum Commission
2023 Local Content conference and exhibition Photo: Ebo Gorman
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (third from right), Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu (fourth from right) and other dignitaries launching the Petroleum Commission 2023 Local Content conference and exhibition Photo: Ebo Gorman

The Member of Parliament for Ashanti Bekwai, who is also a member of the PC board was speaking at the launch of the 2023 Local Content Conference and Exhi­bition (LCCE) in Accra yesterday.

The LCCE, instituted in 2014 brings together key stakeholders to discuss ways to enhance upstream petroleum local content drive with this year’s edition scheduled for November 21 to 24 in Takoradi in the Western Region.

It coincides with a decade since the Petroleum (Local content and local par­ticipation) Regulations, 2013 (Legislative Instrument 2024) came into force, hence on the theme “10 years of local content in Ghana’s upstream petroleum industry – Achievements, challenges and prospects.”

Mr Osei-Owusu said although owning oil reserves was capital intensive, there were sufficient number of “low hanging fruits” which Ghanaians could be prepared and support to harvest.

He commended the PC for taking the initiative to train welders for the sector, thereby reducing the use of their counter­parts from Nigeria and other countries to do the same job.

“We should rearrange our system and ensure that local content also involves a process of training critical staff. We should focus on making sure that the money that is being paid to people from outside (is paid to those inside),” he said.

The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said the L.I. 2204 was amended to L.I. 2435 in 2022 to boost collaboration between Indigenous Ghana­ian Companies (IGCs) and foreign entities in the sector.

He said it provided for joint venture partnerships as the main mode of collabo­ration between IGCs and foreign compa­nies as well as strategic alliance and channel partnership.

He said the new LI also redefined Indig­enous Ghanaian Companies and enhanced services reserved for them in the upstream petroleum sector in line with the govern­ment’s efforts to create more opportunities for Ghanaians.

Dr Prempeh commended the Petroleum Commission for its role in improving local content and participation and urged them to train more Ghanaians as stakeholders work together to address challenges arising.

He said Ghana’s upstream sector contin­ued to attract more global giants, hinting of the possible return of ExxonMobil Corpo­ration, a multinational oil and gas corpora­tion, which exited Ghana a few years ago.

For his part the Chief Executive of the PC, Egbert Faibille Jnr, said Ghana’s level of petroleum production may not be as high as pertains in some other countries, but lasting benefits could be achieved by enhancing in-country value retention through the participation of Ghanaian businesses.

He said the commission would continue to promote the development of indigenous capacities and the use of local capacities in the petroleum exploitation.

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