As Ghana begins oil production, Ghanaians worry about 'oil curse'
Although Ghanaians are excited by commercial oil production, there is concern that Ghana isn't prepared to handle oil revenue properly.
Yesterday, Dec. 15, 2010 marked a great day in the lives of many Ghanaians because Ghana joined the list of countries producing oil on a commercial basis. The question on most people’s minds is: How does this benefit us (Ghanaians)?Skip to next paragraph
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His Excellency John Atta Mills, President of Ghana, was in Sekondi-Takoradi, where he was flown offshore to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah to open the valves to make way for the flow of first oil. Jubilee Partners, which include Tullow Oil plc (34.7 percent), Anadarko Petroleum Corp (23.49 percent), Kosmos Energy (23.49 percent), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (13.75 percent), Sabre Oil and Gas (2.81 percent) and E.O. Group (1.75 percent) participated in a formal celebration to commemorate the first oil, hosted by the president at the Takoradi Air force base.
The first phase of production at the Jubilee oilfield has begun, ramping up to 55,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) this month and 120,000 BOPD during the first half of 2011 as additional wells are completed. This marks the beginning of Ghana’s first significant commercial oil production and will allow the country to join the ranks of sizable West African oil exporters.
“History will be made today and I am very proud to be part of it. First Oil from the Jubilee field is a wonderful occasion for Ghana, its Government and People, the Jubilee Partners and Tullow. It is the culmination of a lot of dedication and hard work from a world-class team on a world-class field. So many people deserve recognition and thanks today, my personal thanks go in particular to the Government of Ghana. Their support and commitment to this project helped the Jubilee Partners ensure that First Oil for Ghana became a reality. Congratulations to everyone involved,” said Aidan Heavey, founder of Tullow Oil.
According to reports and comments from media houses in Sekondi-Takoradi, the oil revenue will afford Ghana the opportunity to meet the UN Millenium Development Goals by 2015. This is only possible if the Ghanaian government, international donors, and civil society take a number of critical steps. Without these steps, there is a high likelihood that Ghana will become yet another African country cursed with oil.
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