In a frank opening address to Getnergy Global 2017, held this week in London, the new CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, outlined the challenges face by the west African country's oil and gas industry in terms of localisation
Dr Sarpong has been the CEO of GNPC since January and he said that in that time, he has met with "geoscientists, engineers and petro-investors! on how to "maximise value for present and future generations", especially in regard to the upstream sector.
He told the conference that the Ghanaian oil and gas industry "has enormous potential ... to transform our economy ... but also to wreck our society." He added that the industry has "brought miseries" in many oil-producing countries, citing poor policy choices as one of the contributing factors.
"The GNPC recognises the value created by our partners and we reward them adequately," Dr Sarpong said.He said that environmental responsibility in particular is essential to "attract serious companies to invest" in Ghanaian oil and gas projects.
GNPC's goal is to be "a world class operator by 2027", according to Dr Sarpong, emphasising the importance of investing in training and capacity-building at a local level so that graduates are "field-ready".
Improving education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and developing technical skills were also cited as important parts of a CSR-driven local capacity-building strategy.
Dr Sarpong said "economic empowerment to enable people affected by oil and gas operations to achieve sustained livelihoods" is required to avoid situations such as the militant activities which have disrupted operations in the Niger Delta.
"NOCs must bring lasting economic and social value for our citizens," he said. "Failure is not an option."