Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Oil and Gas

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-03-24

Overview

The petroleum sector has experienced significant growth, particularly since the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in the Jubilee fields in 2007. Average crude oil production capacity has been declining slightly over time, with an average of 176,000 barrels per day in September 2021.

Some of the major oil and gas activities are conducted by international oil companies such as Tullow Ghana, Vitol, Kosmos Energy, ENI, and Aker Energy. Their sub-contractors include Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford, Ocean Rig, and Technip. The sector has been the subject of investment disputes, such as the one between the Springfield Group and Eni/Vitol.  

Upstream activities in the Ghanaian petroleum sector include the procurement and refining of crude oil by the nation’s only petroleum refinery, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). Downstream activities include the marketing and distribution of petroleum products by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and the pre-mixing of petroleum products for other industrial uses. OMCs operating in Ghana are mainly multinationals; however, the last decade has seen an increase in the establishment of several small and medium-sized local OMCs.

The Ghana National Petroleum Council (GNPC) has the mandate to explore for oil within the nation’s territory.  Ghana’s oil and gas prospects are significant. Recent discoveries appear to indicate oil and gas resources stretch across the country’s shoreline from Cape Three Points in the west to Keta in the east. The Volta Basin is also believed to hold oil and gas reserves onshore.  The Government of Ghana, through GNPC, seeks to maximize the country’s prospects in the oil and gas sector and extend the country’s continental shelf to increase the sector’s scope.

The prices of petroleum products are regulated by an independent board. The nation consumes significant volumes of petroleum products, which is mainly imported. The petroleum products produced in Ghana are mainly exported.  

Opportunities and Context for U.S. companies

Two offshore oil blocks are reserved for the GNPC, which will likely seek partnerships with independent oil companies to support exploration and production.
Ghana’s oil sector needs technical training for local companies.
Ghana lacks storage facilities for its gas products.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects

There is a need for oil and gas service firms that can partner with local Ghanaian companies to support the offshore activities of the international oil companies. Domestic Ghanaian companies do not have the ability to provide a broad range of services despite local content requirements. Joint venture firms with foreign partners contributing technology and know-how to a partnership with a reliable local company are highly sought after. In addition to providing equipment and services directly to the exploration and production companies, training programs to improve the capacity of Ghanaian firms to provide these services are likely to be valued. 

Local Content

The Government of Ghana passed a local content law in 2013 that requires a minimum five percent equity stake in hydrocarbon exploration and production activities.

The upstream oil sector is not a big employer. The industry directly provides an estimated 8,000 jobs for Ghana’s population of 30 million people.  Among the Government’s targets are for 90 percent local participation in the oil and gas value chain.  Analysts view this objective as ambitious due to local firms’ lack of local financial capacity, technical training, and ability to meet international standards.  Foreign companies have largely been able to comply with requirements for local personnel via management positions and general staff. Despite these requirements, the value of contracts won by local firms has risen. Further, international oil companies are looking for local partners across the entire upstream value chain, from direct participation, storage, transportation, and haulage to services and maintenance.

Contact: U.S. Commercial Service Ghan, at Office.Accra@trade.gov or +233-540-011-5779 for more information.

References

Crude Oil Production Statistics

Petrocom

Ghana Investment Promotion Center