The Oil NPP Found In 2007 Changed Ghana.

Fri, 7 Dec 2012 Source: Lomotey, Kenneth

Reward Npp With Your Vote

The only reason Ghana can now look forward to the future with hope is because the country can now boast of producing commercial oil. but it wasn't always like this and a bit of history will be helpful here. During the OPEC crisis of the early 1970s, when oil price increases began to gain global notoreity, the govt ofGhana, then headed by the late Kutu Acheampong, of blessed memory) intensified their efforts to find oil for Ghana. Succeeding govts including the Pndc/Ndc(1) did their best to find oil, but all their efforts failed. It is actually on record that between 1898 to the late 1990s, an estimated 105 oil wells had been drilled in Ghana with no significant discovery except for the Saltpond oil find in 1970, which even fell short of any serious commercial essence.The situation became so disappointing that even the GNPC in the late 1990s seemingly gave up on oil exploration, and diverted GNPC's attention from oil exploration to salt harvesting and into citrus plantation(largely grapefruit farming). Indeed by this time some of us, who were keenly following progress of oil exploration in Ghana, had basically given up. we knew what oil could do to our country because oil changed African countries like Libya, Nigeria and even Angola to become "world powers" overnight and the same was wished for ghana.

The oil industry worldwide at that time generally regarded Ghana as a place too risky to continue prospecting in, because too many companies had been to Ghana to invest in exploration activities and had turned up very disappointing results.

For example, NUEVO came to Ghana in 1998, DANA in 1999, HUNT OIL in 1999, FUSION oil and gas in 1999 and SANTA FE in 2000.Unfortunately all wells drilled by these companies yielded no viable commercial discoveries, and this sad fate befell many oil companies which had also come to explore in Ghana. It is instructive to note that, it cost one million dollars a day to drill an oil well and it can cost up to 80 million dollars to drill one complete oil well, so one can imagine the financial losses to be incurred in any fruitless exploration ventures.

In the context of the above, and when everybody had given up on Ghana( which came to be regarded as oil and gas graveyard), the Npp adminstration under President Kuffuor took office on 7th january 2001 and by the end of the NPP'S first 100 days in office, it had become clear that the new gov't's key priority was to find oil in the shortest possible time. The gov't began to have serious interactions with various specialised oil companies like ENNEX ENERGY of Ireland, TEXACO, OXY, SHELL, HESS, ADAX Petroleum of Switzerland and even some chinese oil companies, but they all pulled out because of the perceived "grave risks". Indeed President Kuffuor then started to look for the best " oil graveyard industry specialists who could turn around Ghana's situation", and for me THIS IS THE DECISION THAT CHANGED GHANA'S DESTINY FOR EVER.

The NPP government then brought in the the E.O. group in 2003 which later partnered the company that had found oil in another previous oil "graveyard", Equatorial Guinea, in 1999( Equatorial Guinea is now an oil giant in Africa), ie the KOSMOS group.

KOSMOS / E.O group finally found commercial oil in the deep waters of Ghana in june 2007, and with this feat Ghana joined the league of oil producing countries in the world.

After the discovery of oil, the stage has now been set for Ghana to prosper. The country now has new friends , new investors and world powers like USA and China are literally begging us to take loans from them, such that they can have some stake in the country's new prospects. It is now possible,as has been done, to rebase the country's gross domestic product (GDP) three times it's previous level. Ghana can now borrow about 3 billion us dollars from the Chinese govt on the back of our oil resource, with relative ease and again increase the external debt stock, within a matter of 3 years, from 8 billion dollars to over 30 billion dollars.

Now with the oil money, a lot of infrastructure, like roads, schools and hospitals can be put up, because if the money is not even available, we can always find new creditors especially as, Ghana is discovering more oil wells. Now the single spine salary implementation for govt workers has been largely accomplished and indeed, the free shs program is now very feasible, no matter what the critics say.

So as you prepare to go and vote , if you see any recent developmental project on your way, be it new road, or anything and you will feel excited about the future prosperity of this country, don't be tempted to give much credit to any other party. Remember the people who really sweated to find oil for Ghana after many surmounting many challenges, and thereby secured a prosperous future for our children( the Npp party),. and reward their efforts with your vote. THE OIL, NPP FOUND IN 2007, INDEED HAS CHANGED GHANA FOREVER

K. Lomotey Sekondi

Columnist: Lomotey, Kenneth

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