On Wednesday December 15, 2010, the late President John Evans Atta Mills, in the rare company of two former Presidents of the Republic of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor steered a wheel to turn on the devise of the Floating Production Storage and Off-loading vessel (FPSO) Kwame Nkrumah to pour the first crude oil from the Jubilee wells.
Naturally, expectations of Ghanaians on the oil prospects shot up beyond imaginable limits considering the sterling progress that African countries like Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola have made from their oil.
Indeed it was widely published that Ghana is said to possess about 1.8 billion barrels of crude oil in the Jubilee fields alone, making it the single biggest in Africa and second in the world.
After three ‘glorious’ years of uninterrupted lifting of the crude by the Jubilee Partners, the people of Ghana and their Government are yet to ascertain the actual quantity of crude oil produced daily!
The Minister of Trade and Industry, HarunaIddrisu worried about the inability of the State to verify the actual quantity of oil produced says his Ministry will soon lay before Cabinet a new bill to task the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to verify and ascertain volumes of oil the country drills each day from the Jubilee field.
‘This bill when passed into law, will protect the oil we produce and Ghana will have value for money.’
He said the GSA must ensure that all the necessary measures were put in place to subject oil production to measurement for the country to know the actual quantity of oil produced and also ensure that the State was not denied its fair share of oil produced from the Jubilee Fields.
Speaking at the 2014 World Metrology Day celebration organised by the GSA on the theme: “Measurement and the Global Energy Challenge”, Mr. Iddrisu said the exercise should be a collaborative effort among three ministries Finance and Economic Planning, Energy and Petroleum and Trade and Industry to ensure that all ambiguities related to the actual oil produced were cleared.
It would be recalled that news went viral in May 2011 of the non-functioning of the flow meter which was used to measure oil lifted on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.
After initially denying the reports, the Ministry of Energy conceded that Ghana may be losing money at the Jubilee field because there was no reliable way of measuring the exact amount of oil and gas being extracted. Even after the admission by the Ministry, it took Ghana and her Jubilee partners more than two months to replace a new one.
Section 48 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (Act 815, PRMA) requires the Finance Minister to submit an annual report on the Petroleum Funds as part of the annual presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament. The report presents developments in the upstream petroleum sector and reports on the collection and utilisation of petroleum receipts in the year.
The 2013 report which covered the first nine months of 2013, covered the production in the Jubilee and Saltpond Fields as well as a summary of activities leading to the lifting of gas from the Jubilee Field, production from the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) as well as the Sankofa-GyeNyame projects.
‘The Jubilee and Saltpond Fields were the only producing fields in 2013. The total number of barrels produced from the Jubilee Field for the period, January to September 2013, was 27,060,737 barrels, compared with 18,423,621 barrels for the corresponding period in 2012’, the report stated.
It further stated that, ‘the total barrels of oil produced from the Saltpond Field for the period January to September 2013, was 78,376 barrels, compared with 77,374 for the full year of 2012’.
The Ministry has fulfilled its constitutional mandate but there are more questions to be answered based on the yet-to-be-taken action by the Ministry of Trade. Who does the measuring based on which the Ministry can submit a report? How much money has Ghana lost due to the usage of the current unreliable means of measurement? Is the flow-meter reliable? Does the Standards Authority need the backing of an Act of Parliament before it can verify measurements?
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