Mr Thomas Manu, Director in-charge of Exploration and Production of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) yesterday said Ghana's initial oil production capacity could be about 60,000 barrels a day depending on the number of oil wells drilled.
He said the country expected the oil companies to start drilling in commercial quantities latest between the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.
In the meantime, he explained, 'the Mahogany 2 Well' was being drilled for further testing and results were expected in a few weeks.
Mr Manu was speaking to members of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the business opportunities in the oil industry at the 523rd monthly meeting of the Greater Accra Region branch.
He said there was the likelihood for companies to drill between 200,000 and 250,000 barrels a day by the year 2011-2012 when the country advanced in the oil industry and added that Ghana even had the potential to drill 500,000 barrels of oil.
He pointed out that it was obvious that there were numerous opportunities available to Ghanaians when the oil exploration began fully and urged businessmen to take advantage of the new industry to push up their standards to meet the standards of those already in oil exploration.
'The future of the oil industry is bright and we can derive maximum benefits,' he said, while expressing the hope that more discoveries were to be made.
Mr Manu urged businessmen who wanted to venture into the oil industry to go by the directives given by the Ministry of Energy to obtain permit from the GNPC. He said obtaining a permit from GNPC would enhance their monitoring programme and enable them to know which company was doing well and which was not.
Mr George Owusu, Country Manager, Kosmos Energy Ghana Limited, said his organisation would partner the GNPC to build the capacity of the youth to encourage a lot of people to work in the oil industry. He urged businessmen to be prepared to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and benefits that came along with oil production in a country.
Mr Owusu called for the necessary legislative support for the oil industry to encourage more investors into the country and gave an assurance that Kosmos Energy Ghana Limited would employ as many Ghanaians as possible.