Motivational Speaker, Dr. Mensa Otabil, says Ghana cannot be rich selling crude oil without adding value to it.
The International Central Gospel Church International (ICGC) General Overseer told his congregation in Church on Sunday, in a sermon monitored by XYZ News that, Ghana could gain more by processing her crude oil and gaining benefits from other derivative products from the raw oil.
He said: “…Crude oil has some value, but its greatest value comes out when it is processed and refined”.
“By some accounts there are about some 6000 different products that can be made from crude oil. So when you sell crude oil, potentially you’re selling 6,000 undeveloped products. That’s just some information I throw in there for Ghana,” he said.
Some of the major products derived from refined crude include fuel oils, asphalt, diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), lubricating oils, paraffin wax, tars, petrochemicals among a raft of over 6,000 other petroleum by-products.
Pastor Otabil said: “So if you sell a barrel, you’ve just sold 6,000 potential products undeveloped and somebody takes it and develops 6,000 products and sells it back to you”.
“You can’t be rich that way,” he noted.
The West African country of 25 million people consumes about 1,800,000 tonnes of refined petroleum products yearly.
Its only refinery, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), which has a 45,000 barrels per day output, processes close to 10,000 tonnes of crude daily, but has been dormant due to technical and financial challenges.
The installation also must be retrofitted with an estimated investment of about $1 billion to make TOR able to refine the high grade ‘sweet light’ oil produced in the jubilee oil fields. TOR was initially designed to refine low grade crude. It has an output capacity of about 6,000 metric tonnes per day.
Ghana currently produces about 100,000 barrels of crude a day. Daily oil production hit 115,000 barrels per day in June 2013, significantly higher than the projected average for that year.
Total oil revenue of GH¢1.15 billion also far exceeded the projected target by GH¢362.3 million.
The country began commercial production of oil in 2010. It could soon have a second refinery. New Alpha Refinery-Ghana, a South African-based company with a subsidiary in Ghana has started feasibility studies to establish a tank farm and second refinery in Ghana.
The 200,000 barrels per day refinery will be located in the Western Region, in addition to the establishment of a power-generation plant using gas turbines.