Ghana’s quest to increase its hydrocarbon exploitation could be hamstrung unless the country invests in data on its entire potential oil field, a researcher said.
Pauline Anaman, head of Policy at think-tank Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), said in an interview here Monday that it was unacceptable for Ghana to have data covering only 32 percent of its sedimentary basin.
“If you look at Ghana’s sedimentary basin, only 32 percent has 2D and 3D seismic data. That means that there is about 68 percent of data needed to enable us to launch into the next phase of petroleum contract licensing,” she pointed out.
“Data is fundamental to everything, data is knowledge and knowledge is power. If a company knows that this block or this area has some traces of oil, then it would inform its decision whether to contract with a government,” she said.
Anaman emphasized the significance of seismic data for investors which gives them a level of understanding as to where to start looking at in oil exploration.
This, she added, also gave the investors a level of direction and a head start which had a lot of positive impact in terms of cost of doing business.
Ghana’s economy recorded nearly 15 percent growth in 2011, the first year of commercial oil production, and 8.5 percent last year after a downturn attributed to lower oil performance and energy crisis in 2016.
“And on the part of government too, we want our oil resources to be exploited because it translates into resources for development. So the earlier we invest in data, the better for us. It’s also good for the companies,” the energy policy analyst added.
With global crude prices gradually recovering, Ghana is seeking to derive maximum benefits from its resources through partnerships with International Oil Companies in exploration and production. Enditem