Business News of Wed, 15 Feb 20172
Springfield Group steps into upstream oil exploration
A wholly owned Ghanaian oil and gas company, the Springfield Group, has taken a giant step to explore for oil in the Tano West Cape Three Points basin in the Western Region.
The move is to break the jinx that upstream exploration remains the exclusive playground for international oil companies and prove that Ghanaian companies can play a crucial role in the upstream oil and gas space.
Speaking at a welcome ceremony for the GPS 3D Geostreamer seismic vessel, Ramform Titan, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Springfield Group, Mrs Geena Malkani-Punjabi, said although other oil and gas companies had preceded the group in terms of discovery and production, the entry of a Ghanaian company just a decade after the first discovery was significant.
She said what made the group’s entry into the upstream operations unique was that it was the first indigenous Ghanaian company to venture that arena, which until now had been the preserve of foreign major companies and known industry players.
Springfield, she said, acknowledged the fact that the upstream industry had its own peculiar challenges, “but we are resolved to seek help when we have to from our key partners and collaborators who are no minnows and have been bulwarks in our downstream successes”.
Mrs Malkani-Punjabi said the group had no doubt whatsoever that it would succeed, just as it had in many other areas that were considered challenging for Ghanaian companies.
“We are determined to achieve our goal as a company to also harness the human resource that the nation has in abundance to ensure that the natural resources of the country are significantly tapped to develop the people and the nation at large,” she said.
The partnership & local content
The COO said the move might be the beginning but it certainly would blaze the trail and sow the seeds for Ghana to begin to realise its dream of becoming an active player in the industry through its own national oil company, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
“Springfield will be minded by Ghana’s Local Content Act and contribute its quota towards building strong capacities both upstream and midstream to ensure true participation by indigenes in all spheres of the industry, but it will not ignore the abundant international expertise that can be deployed to get us to our goal early,” she said.
She expressed the company’s gratitude to the government and the sector ministry and the regulators for the confidence reposed in the group, saying it would continue to count on their support, going forward.
Commending the group for the giant step taken, Mr George Mensah Oklay, the Head of Upstream at the Ministry of Energy, said as an indigenous oil and gas company stepping into the world of the industry and taking full exploratory risk like any other international oil company, the journey would not be an easy one for Springfield.
“However, you can count on our support as a ministry and as a partner – we will support you each step on the way because your success is our success and will give full meaning to our quest to improve local content in the industry,” he said.
For her part, the Country Manager of GPS Ghana, Mrs Gertrude Adwoa Ohene-Asienim, said the Ramform Titan was currently the best in the world.
The vessel was launched in 2013 as a new class of seismic ship that was easily the most powerful and efficient in the world.
Mrs Ohene-Asienim said during the period of the seismic, the company could assure other stakeholders in the maritime domain that GPS Ghana would operate and adhere to all environmental safety standards and social norms.