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10.08.2005 General News

Adopt consistent exploration programmes - Energy Minister


Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Energy has asked exploration companies to avoid speculative behaviours that have tended to stall Ghana's onward march to a consistent exploration programme, that could culminate in a major oil find.

To ensure this, government has introduced limits of between one year to two and a half years on exploration firms to come out with their findings, instead of leaving their blocs unexploited, hoping that some other company might make a find nearby, after which they sell their blocs.

This, he noted, have a negative impact on the nation's drive towards an active oil exploration programme.

Briefing the out-going United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mary Carlin Yates in his office, Prof. Ocquaye congratulated Ms. Yates for her role in securing for Ghana Ameralda Hess oil company to begin exploration activity by December. The company is to start exploration works in the Cape Three Points area in the Central Region later this year.

He said the Ministry and Ameralda Hess are in the final phase of negotiations and will soon come out with the details on their activity in Ghana.

Prof. Ocquaye explained that with the current high cost of world crude oil prices, it was most prudent to speed up Ghana's oil exploration potential for her own good.

On the broader energy sector, the Energy Minister said the inefficiency of the Electricity Company of Ghana would soon be a thing of the past under the power sector reform programme, which he said required heavy capital injection to materialize.

"We would definitely need the support of development partners to get this through and we would be counting on your expertise and support in this venture."

On the West African Gas Pipeline, Prof. Ocquaye said government remains committed to getting it off the ground and thanked the US government, which is providing immense support through the USAID. "This Project will bring cheap and much power relief to the entire sub-region", and expressed the hope that, " Ghana will find oil soon to make the Project more viable."

He said the Volta River Authority Law has been amended and will bring about greater efficiency, making power generation and distribution two separate things for efficiency.

Ambassador Yates thanked the Minister for his support during her duty tour.

She commended Ghana for the courage in starting the deregulation process, saying the US would support by Ghana in meeting her development agenda.