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13.11.2008 Business & Finance

Fraudsters invade oil industry

By B&FT

Fraudsters have invaded Takoradi and it s environs, collecting various sums of money from people with the promise of securing them jobs on oil production rigs at the Jubilee Field.

Information B&FT has gathered indicate that a syndicate, posing as a recruitment agency for the production partners of the Jubilee Field, has so far succeeded in collecting sums upward of GH¢15 per person.

The development phase of Ghana's offshore oil wells has begun with sub-sea infrastructure currently being undertaken with the first pumping of 120,000 barrels of oil per day expected to commence in the first quarter of 2010.

The flurry of activities in Takoradi has heightened expectations among the youth of securing jobs on the production rigs.

Officials of the Labour Department, however, say there is a directive for all recruitment for jobs for the oil industry to be done through the department and that such fraudsters would be exposed if they were to engage the department in their activities.

In recent times, since the discovery of oil off the shores of Ghana's Western Region, both locals and foreigners have been rushing to buy properties in Takoradi and surrounding towns.

The value of land is said to have doubled or tripled in certain areas. The local assemblies have been expressing concern about some of the characters that are suddenly showing up in their towns.

In June 2007, when Kosmos Energy first announced that it had discovered commercial quantities on its West Cape Three Points bloc, there was a rush for land in the Cape Three Points area.

However, with the explanation that the find was rather close to Takoradi and that the latter was going to be the operational town for the exploitation of oil, attention has now diverted to Takoradi.

Production partners have indicated that the oil production itself is supremely capital intensive and does not create an opportunity for employing large numbers of hands on the production vessel.

Technology to be used on the Jubilee Field will be a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel with an oil storage capacity of approximately 2 million barrels, connected to a network of sub-sea pumps that are capable of separating water and gas from the crude pumped up.

Other large tankers will regularly be filled from the FPSO for shipment to markets - hence no pipes are to be laid to onshore loading facilities.

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