Ghana’s oil minister has urged African countries to take advantage of the continent’s abundant gas resources to industrialize.
Although much of the discovered gas resources were not yet in use, deputy minister for energy in charge of petroleum Mohammed Amin Adams said here on Tuesday that gas presented enormous potentials for power generation to power industries.
He attributed the low utilization of trillions of cubic feet of stranded gas discoveries in Africa to limited demand resulting from low industrial activity.
“Notwithstanding this challenge, natural gas remains the transition fuel for accelerating the transformation of our economies,” the minister said at the opening of the 2019 edition of the annual Africa Oil Governance Summit.
While Ghana pays for all the gas produced from the Sankofa field, Off Cape Three Points (OCTP), not all of that is in use. The West African countries are also not able to consume much of the gas produced in Nigeria as expected under the West African gas pipeline project.
Besides, there are new gas discoveries in Mauritania and Senegal, as well as undeveloped gas fields in La Cote d’Ivoire.
The minister, therefore, urged African leaders to be concerned about how to maximize opportunities around these undeveloped discoveries, because, the untapped and unused resources “create an uncertain environment for the commercialization of our sub-regional gas resources.”
“We can industrialize Africa on the back of the opportunities presented by natural gas,” Amin said, urging the continent to take advantage of the gas resources to develop its fertilizer industry to induce agriculture production, as well as develop other units of the petrol-chemical industry.
The executive director of the energy think tank, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), organizers of the summit, Benjamin Boakye said Africa should start thinking properly about how to use its petroleum resources to alleviate poverty on the continent.
“Ghana, for example, has derived about five billion US dollars, so far from petroleum resources. But if we cannot see the impact of that revenue then, we have to question how well we have utilized the resources,” he told Xinhua. Enditem