President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured that Ghanaians will be given the upper hand in any future oil exploration. The President reiterated his government’s zeal and will to ensure the majority of Ghanaians participate in onshore oil exploration. He made the declaration when chiefs, queens, and elders of the Avenor Traditional Council in the Volta Region visited him at the Jubilee House.
“Onshore is much cheaper to bring up than offshore oil. Offshore oil is a very expensive business and that is why you need these huge companies; ExxonMobil, and others, to be able to put the rigs into the seabed to bring up the oil. “When it comes to onshore, the capital is not so expensive, so, we are hoping that if the studies confirm that there is, indeed, oil there, we can get as many Ghanaians as possible – people from the area and elsewhere to be involved in bringing it up and using it for our development,” President Akufo-Addo assured.
According to the “Ghana Geological Survey Bulletin No. 40” exploration for oil and gas in Ghana started in 1896 in the onshore Tano basin (Western Region). This was due to the presence of onshore oil and gas seepages found by early explorers in that area. During that period early wells were drilled without geological understanding and the benefit of seismic data. Within 2001-2007 exploration for commercial hydrocarbons intensified with some independent Oil Companies such as Kosmos Energy, Hess Corporation and Tullow Oil, acquiring exploration and production rights over areas in deep water.
There was a shift of focus from shallow water to deepwater areas which was occasioned by other deepwater discoveries made in the region and by the results of four deepwater wells drilled in Ghana between 1999 and 2003.
These wells proved the existence of an active petroleum system in the deepwater, a fact which hitherto was unknown. Hunt Oil’s WCTP-2X well encountered 14ft of light oil column. This effectively reduced the risk of petroleum generation in the deepwater areas of Ghana.