OIL! OIL! OIL!
How the Graphic reported the 'find' 37 years ago
Thursday, June 18, 1970
GHANA STRIKES OIL
Oil and gas deposits in potentially significant quantity have been discovered in Ghana - the first oil found to have been hit since prospecting began several years ago.
The find was made six days ago at a site eight miles off the shores of Saltpond, near Cape Coast in the Central Region, by a consortium of companies which has been test-drilling in the area.
Surveys were being carried out to determine the commercial value of the find.
Parliamentary Press correspondents were all jubilant yesterday when the Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, Mr R.R. Amponsah, broke this news to them at a hurriedly convened Press conference.
Mr Amponsah showed tested samples of the oil to the correspondents.
The Minister said the consortium, comprising the Signal Exploration and Development Company. Occidental of Ghana Inc. and Amoco struck the oil and gas at depths between 5,000 and 8,000 feet.
He said the chairman of the consortium flew in from America specially in connection with the find.
Asked by a correspondent whether he was optimistic about the find, Mr. Amponsah retorted heartily: 'I am optimistic of course! We have always been optimistic about finding oil in Ghana.'
But was there really a "find"?
How the Graphic reported the 'find' 7 days ago
*Huge field discovered at Cape Three Points
President J.A. Kufuor at the Castle yesterday. Experts have compared the deposits in Ghana to the vast reserves in Nigeria and Angola and far in excess of the 250 million barrels earlier predicted.
The discovery was made by Kosmos Energy of the United States of America (USA), in partnership with Anadarko, Tullow Ghana Ltd, the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and others.
The discovery is said to be high quality light crude oil which is very expensive on the international market. However, it will take between three and five years for the oil to be produced in commercial quantities.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kosmos Energy, Mr. Jim Musselman, who led the delegation to the Castle, broke the news to President Kufuor and said he was optimistic about the finding but asked the public to be patient with the company, since there was more work ahead.
He then presented a sample of the oil in its raw state to President Kufuor as evidence of the discovery.
Also at the Castle were Vice-President Aliu Mahama, the Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani; the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Co-operation and NEPAD, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah; the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, and a host of government appointees.