PROF MICHAEL Aaron Oquaye, former Energy Minister and one of the aspirants in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership race has hinted that the country is at the verge of striking her third oil this year.
The Dome-Kwabenya MP, who incidentally is a Baptist Pastor, said the seeds he sowed when he was at the energy ministry were fast yielding results, and promised to bring the same skills to bear when he becomes the president of Ghana.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DAILY GUIDE in Accra on Monday, the professor said even though the search for oil had been on for a long time, it took his instrumentality to get the dream realized within an acceptable time.
He explained that he sort of catalyzed the exploration process by adding what he called a performance clause which gingered Tullow and the rest to speed up their activities in the country.
Even though he sounded optimistic of what he was saying, the former Energy Minister would not disclose the quantity, quality and time of the find.
Meanwhile, the Director of Petroleum, Dr. Appeagyei Gyamfi, when contacted, stated that as exploration goes on in the country, the chances of striking more oil get brighter.
He confirmed that it was the former Minister who made it mandatory for companies that came into the country to look for oil, to expedite action on the execution of the contract or lose their concessions.
The presidential aspirant, who was briefing the paper on some of his achievements as minister, further revealed that he negotiated and signed the Chinese loan for the Bui Hydroelectric Project.
He mentioned also the West African Gas Pipeline, the acquisition of $20 million assistance from India for the Onua Amoa Jatropha Company, and five million Euros to revamp the renewable energy sector.
At the Communication Ministry, Oquaye said he banned the importation of cables and scratch cards, saying those decisions gave jobs to Ghanaian companies.
“I spoke to the Chinese in a language they well understood. I made them understand that apart from funding road construction in the country, a hydro-electric project in their name would leave a more indelible mark on the national psyche, and they accepted to fund the project,” he said.
It would be recalled that Kosmos Energy, in June this year, announced the discovery of some 600 million barrels of oil in the Mahogany-1 well at West Cape Three Points, some 63 km in the Ghanaian coastline and 132 km southwest of Takoradi.
The discovery at the time was described as a significant find. Then a few months later, Tullow Oil Plc announced the discovery of what was described as a world class find of about 800 million barrels.
The two wells, Mahogany-1 and Hyedua-1, which are 5.3km apart, are likely to represent a single continuous trap extending across the West Cape Three Points and Deepwater Tano blocks.
The two finds suggested that the total deposit could be far above the sum of 1.4 billion barrels mentioned in the two wells.
Prof. Oquaye served as Ghana High Commissioner to India between 2000 and 2004, during which period Ghana received 3,000 tractors from the Indian government on concessionary terms.
The country also benefited from the construction of a Presidential Palace, Ghana-India Kofi Anan Centre for Excellence, scholarships and donation of bicycles.
He is reputed to have arranged for a $20 Areeba donation, which eventually solved the perennial Taifa water problem in his constituency.
By Bennett Akuaku