The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr, has called for a thorough review of the country’s regulatory framework and fiscal regime on petroleum exploration to attract the right investment into the energy sector.
He explained that a review had now become necessary, especially in an era of energy transition where private capital in the oil and gas industry was fast dwindling and competition for investments becoming intense.
Addressing a public lecture at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana (UG) in Accra last Wednesday, Mr Faibille Jnr stated that the country needed a firm mix of positive resource nationalism, flexible commercial fiscal terms, respect for the right of exploration and petroleum companies as an approach in petroleum negotiations.
“Local content is also another key pillar that cannot be ignored if we want our people to benefit from the exploration of petroleum in the country.
“To ensure that there is no skill gap as Ghana transitions from fossil fuel to clean energy, I call for the immediate establishment of a world-class institute to be called, national institute of petroleum and renewable energy studies, to train more Ghanaians,” he said.
On the topic: “Energy transition: Reflections on the state of Ghana’s oil and gas industry”, the dialogue offers an opportunity for a thorough discussion of the future of Ghana’s oil and gas sector through the lenses of the energy transition.
It seeks to answer critical questions about how Ghana can benefit from the energy transition and oil and gas exploration.
The dialogue highlights the expected action by key institutions in Ghana’s energy sector, which will lead to a maximum benefit of oil and gas and the energy transition.
It is part of activities marking the 75th anniversary of the University of Ghana, which is on the theme: “Nurturing resilience: adopting technology, embracing humanism”.
The lecture was chaired by the Board Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Ghana, Kweku Andoh Awotwi, with some participants, including the Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam; the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wugon Constituency, Lydia Seyram Alhassan; Chairman in charge of the Oil and Gas Sector at the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Kwame Jantuah, and Executive Director of African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr Benjamin Boakye, in attendance.
Mr Faibille Jnr stated that in the area of funding for fossil fuel investment, a huge number of banks, pension funds, insurance firms and institutional and private investors had so far limited the exposure for fossil fuel projects.
He said, for instance, the European Investment Bank declared an end to funding oil and gas projects at the end of 2021, cutting some €2 billion of yearly investment.
He said while cutting investment from fossil fuel, the bank had further unveiled a €1 trillion investment plan on green deal financing.
According to him, what made the ongoing energy transition a serious concern to countries such as Ghana was the pace, speed and alacrity within which the target of the transition needed to be achieved by 2050.
The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said the government was committed to taking keen steps to ensure that the country was not left out of the energy transition.
He explained that the government was adopting the right approach to balance between clean energy and hydrocarbons.
“We believe that Ghana and Africa should transition to clean energy, however, they should be allowed to use their God-endowed gift to undertake the transition,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, said output from the lecture would feature in policy decisions to further advance the energy sector.
She said in accordance with achieving sustainable development goal (SDG) 13, global conversations on the need to take urgent action on climate change and its impact had heightened the push to transition from fossil-based fuel to cleaner energy sources with possible implications for Ghana’s oil and gas industry.
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