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20.12.2007 General News

Wanted: Potential oil investors

Wanted: Potential oil investors

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is looking for potential investors to explore the Voltaian Basin, which has large commercial quantities of oil and gas.

The oil in the Voltaian Basin, the largest onshore basin in Ghana, could fetch the country several millions of dollars in revenue, but it is the least explored. It covers about 40 percent of the land mass of Ghana, spanning over 103, 600 square kilometres and covers most parts of the Volta River drainage area. The Voltaian Basin stretches from Nankpanduri/Gambaga in the north-east through Larabana/Damongo to Kananto in the northwest down to Bamboi on the Black Volta through the eastern bounds of Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Managing Director of GNPC, Mr Moses Nuro Boateng, said the basin could be compared to the Libyan and Chadian blocks, which are currently producing large quantities of oil and gas.

“The Voltaian Basin has high prospects for oil and gas accumulation and could fetch the country several millions of dollars,” Mr Boateng said, adding that the basin, when explored, could provide jobs, and thus create wealth for a large number of Ghanaians and eventually reduce poverty drastically.

He said the country would benefit from royalties and other revenues which would be generated when investors explored the basin.

“Exploration of the basin would enhance technology and knowledge transfer, empower the Ghanaian, enhance information flow and provide infrastructure," Mr Boateng intimated.

According to him, the GNPC is currently embarking on a three-phase programme of reconnaissance geoscientific study over the Voltaian Basin.

The study would entail a geological re-evaluation of the hydrocarbon potential of the Basin.

Mr Boateng explained that the objective of the study was to develop a preliminary knowledge of the Voltaian Basin's hydrocarbon potential.

He stated that the challenges facing the GNPA were compounded by limited data to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the basin, as well as non-availability of funds to acquire data for future activities.

He however pointed out that on the basis of investigations conducted so far, the basin had similar characteristics with Berkine, Hassi Messauoud and Illizi basins in Algeria, the Illizi and Ghadamese basins in Libya as well as the Tauodeni basin in Mauritania, Mali, among other countries.

Mr Boateng, therefore, urged locals in the areas where the hydrocarbons had been found to co-operate with potential investors in exploration activities to bring wealth to them and the country as a whole.

He said the co-operation of Ghanaians would attract more investors in the petroleum sector as well as in other sectors of the economy for the growth and development of Ghana.

In the 1960s, the Soviets drilled geological wells to an average depth of 700 metres and in the process discovered traces of oil and gas.

There was not any significant activity from 1978 until 1996 when the GNPC, in collaboration with the Ghana Geological Survey and the mining sector, embarked on exploration promotion and re-evaluation of the potential of the basin.