The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved additional financing of $19.80 million to support the development of Ghana’s oil and gas reserves, bringing the total support to $57.80 million.
The objectives of the project are first to help improve public management and regulatory capacity and enhance sector transparency by strengthening the institutions managing and monitoring the sector; and secondly to support the development of indigenous technical and professional skills needed by the petroleum sector through support to selected educational institutions.
The petroleum sector in Ghana is undergoing a major transformation following the discovery of a large oil and gas field in deep waters about 60 kilometers offshore.
The Ghana Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project, approved by the Board of Executive Directors in 2010, supports the establishment of a new regulatory and oversight institutions to ensure the smooth and transparent functioning of the burgeoning oil and gas sectors.
‘The discovery of deep oil and gas reserves has resulted in a rapid expansion of the oil and gas industry in Ghana, which has the potential to bring significant economic development opportunities to the country,’ said Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Ghana.
The approved additional financing will ensure the completion of key project activities whilst extending the projects closing date by 24 months to June 30, 2017 to allow for completion of activities.
The funds will help to establish a national data center within the Petroleum Commission of Ghana (PCG), an independent regulator for the oil and gas sector and also help procure laboratory equipment for Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen them to monitor and analyze the impacts of oil and gas operations on marine and shoreline ecosystems.
Furthermore, the Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project targets human capital development by providing support to selected tertiary institutions, including the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) to improve teaching and research in the field of petroleum engineering and petrochemical engineering.
Overall, the additional financing will help train more than 800 students at the tertiary level to enhance the human resource needs of the oil and gas industry.
The project consequently will contribute largely to the country’s efforts at effectively managing the oil and gas resource, and thereby generate growth, which will serve as a propellant for the non-oil sectors of the economy.
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