Saltpond Oil Field To Be Decommissioned Next Year
Mr. Francis Ackah, Acting Director of Operations and Resources Management at the Petroleum Commission, has said the Saltpond Oil Field would be decommissioned next year.
He said the Saltpond Oil Field, the nation's oldest oil producing field does not produce any more oil hence the decommissioning.
He said costs and other implications that might occur during the decommissioning but were almost completed to give way for a smooth decommissioning of the oil field which has been producing oil since the 1970s.
Mr Ackah was speaking at the third annual consultative meeting with the Western Regional House of Chiefs and other stakeholders in Takoradi.
The meeting was to among others enable members of the Commission to interact with key stakeholders in the region on the upstream petroleum sector and other related activities.
It also created a platform for the international oil companies to share with the chiefs their corporate social responsibility projects and initiatives in the region and receive feedback.
Mr Ackah, who spoke on the current updates in the sector, said since the oil discovery in the Saltpond offshore area in the 1970s additional 25 discoveries have been made including the three offshore basins and one onshore basin.
He said the major oil activities were currently on the Tano Cape Three points basin.
Mr Ackah said last year a Petroleum Act was developed which has made bidding competitive, adding that the government would soon enter into an agreement with Exxon Mobil.
He said they were still negotiating with Exxon Mobil and by next year government would sign a new block agreement with them.
On the ITLOS Marine border dispute results, he said new boundary resulted in both gains and loss of acreage, but that no upstream activities were adversely affected, adding that companies that were affected have since been asked to commence operations.
He appealed to the companies to explore more so as to get more oil wells stressing that in the next 20 years, production in the existing wells would fall.
On the way forward, Mr Ackah appealed to the chiefs to educate fishermen to desist from operating around the rigs noting that they should value the rigs as national assets and should respect them.
He also urged the people in the six coastal districts in the Western Region to endeavours to manage their expectations well since it will take some time before they see the full benefits of the oil and gas discoveries.
Mr Ackah urged the chiefs to get involved in the local content issues and that by 2020/2022 about four FPSO would be operating in the region.
For her part, Mrs Judith Blay Community Relations Manager at the Petroleum Commission, said there were three international oil companies in Ghana and that her outfit has ensured that they all perform their corporate social responsibility in their operational areas.
She mentioned fishing incursions as the most challenging problem they incur at the community level and stressed that by law there should not be any fishing activity 500km away from the rig.
Mrs Blay appealed to the chiefs to help solve the problem adding "the sea is big enough for all and the law will surely catch up with those who break it".
The managements of Eni, Tullow and HESS all international oil companies pledged to continue with their corporate social responsibility projects to their operations area.
Most of their CSR projects are in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation as well as agro-business.
By Justina Paaga, GNA