On Thursday 28th October, 2021 The Indonesian Consulate in Ghana in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, facilitated a two-hour virtual meeting between officials of the Petroleum Commission of Ghana as well as the leadership of one of Indonesia’s State-Owned Oil Giants, PT. Pertamina.
The major highlight of the meeting was a power-point presentation on the available opportunities in the country’s upstream oil and gas industry which Pertamina could take advantage of for real investment in the immediate future. The Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Ghana, Hon. Paskal A. B. Rois who moderated the entire virtual programme, noted that his expectation is to see Pertamina investing in the oil and gas sector of the Ghanaian economy.
The zoom meeting, the first of its kind with Petroleum Commission since the Consulate began its operations in Accra, was joined by officials and participants from Indonesia, Nigeria and Ghana amongst others. The thirty nine (39) member team from Pertamina was led by Mr. Edi Karyanto, Senior Vice President Upstream Portfolio Co. Business Development & Portfolio, PT Pertamina ( Persero), while the seven (7) member team of officials of the Petroleum Commission was under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Egbert Faibille Jnr.
Speaking at the meeting, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to West Africa including Ghana and Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Usra Hendra Harahap lauded his Honorary Consul in Ghana, Hon. Paskal A.B. Rois for facilitating such a meeting which would enable Pertamina get a better understanding of the operations of the oil and gas sector in Ghana.
According to him, since the establishment of the relationship between Indonesia and Ghana in 1959, Indonesia has recognized the importance of Ghana and her role played in the sub-Sahara region as one of the gateways to West Africa over the years.
Ambassador H.E. Dr. Usra Hendra Harahapnoted that Ghana is Indonesia’s 9th largest trading partner in the sub-Sahara African region which is supported by the strategic port that the country is one of the five largest in West Africa. According to him, knowing that investment opportunities in Ghana are dependent on availability of raw materials, labour and potential market, he was confident that when Pertamina is given the opportunity to operate in the country’s energy space especially in the oil and gas sector, it would strengthen the already excellent trade relations between Indonesia and Ghana.
H.E. Dr. Usra Hendra Harahap announced that his Embassy in Abuja is currently working out some preparatory arrangements for visits at the ministerial levels of the two countries, adding that it is the desire of Jakarta to see Ghana make a considerable progress in her potentials not only in oil and gas but also in construction, global trade and other sectors.
The Senior Vice President Upstream Portfolio Co. Business Development & Portfolio, PT Pertamina ( Persero), Mr. Edi Karyanto, noted that the West African sub-region remains a focus for their investment. He described Ghana as one of the prolific countries in Africa, adding that Indonesia’s State-Owned Oil giant, Pertamina is looking forward to taking advantage of such opportunities in Ghana’s oil exploration sector.
The CEO of the Petroleum Commission of Ghana, Mr. Egbert Faibille Jnr. also traced what he described as the relationship between Ghana and Indonesia to 1959, recalling that Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Indonesia’s first President, Sukarno were contemporary leaders at the time that did a lot of work together during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) era.
Hon. Paskal A.B. Rois noted that anyone in the oil and gas sector knows that all over the oil and gas producing jurisdictions excluding perhaps the USA, Iran and Saudi Arabia, almost every oil producing country in the world today uses the sharing contract agreement, an Indonesian model and initiative which has been replicated in several oil producing countries across the globe.
The CEO said the meeting was not only an honour done the country but also a further cementation of the South-South co-operation within the framework of NAM that Ghana and Indonesia were committed to.
Mr. Faibille was grateful to the Indonesia government and partners for the interest shown in Ghana and used the opportunity to formally extend an invitation to officials of Pertamina to visit Ghana within the first quarter of 2022. The invitation, he explained would enable Pertamina to visit the oil and gas sites themselves to acquaint and appraise themselves with the available oil and gas opportunities in the country.
Mr. Ebenezer Harmah the manager, Economics and Projects Evaluation at the Petroleum Commission of Ghana, took the participants through a 40-minute presentation under the topic, ‘Petroleum Exploration Opportunities in the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector of Ghana’.
Mr. Harmah covered the country’s oil exploration history, the available sedimentary basin, the state of the oil and gas industry as well as the legal and regulatory regime in operation. He also touched on the country’s fiscal regime as well as the available investment opportunities and the requirements for participation in Ghana’s upstream petroleum space. The Projects and Evaluation Manager disclosed that the country’s petroleum industry dates back to 1896, adding that the commercial discovery of the Jubilee Field in 2007 became a major breakthrough for Ghana. According to Mr. Harmah, twenty-nine (29) more discoveries have been made after 2007, further confirming that the country’s jurisdiction basin is highly prospective to investors.
Mr. Ebenezer Harmah who did the presentation to the participants through the power-point medium, announced that the country has four sedimentary basins, three off-shore and one on-shore. He mentioned the off-shore fields as the Tano Cape Three Point Basin, Saltpond/Central Basin as well as the Accra-Keta or Eastern Basin, all of which cover an area of 62,000 sq.km and measured to 3500m water depth. According to him, it is the off-shore session which is very active.
The Voltaian Basin which is the only on-shore field in the country, covers 103,400 sq.km, approximately forty (40) percent of the land mass of Ghana and the largest unexplored inland basin in the country. Mr. Harmah stated that the country’s national oil company, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is currently conducting a reconnaissance survey of the basin. He explained that about 1871km of 20 Seismic Data has been acquired, processed and interpreted, adding that preliminary results have identified structures of interest. According to Mr. Harmah, the initial work some on the basin shows that it is highly prospective hence the reconnaissance studies to prepare it for licensing in the nearest possible future.
The Projects and Evaluation Manager assured the officials of Pertamina that the investment opportunities in Ghana’s petroleum sector are huge. According to him, there are large available acreages for direct negotiations. These, he said are Block 1 which is allocated to the GNPC and also Blocks 4,5 and 6 which are all available for direct negotiations with the Ministry of Energy.
Mr. Harmah also announced that under the Farm- In opportunities, a number of contractors working in Ghana’s upstream petroleum industry are looking for partnerships with other reputable institutions like Pertamina to join them to undertake their explorations and develop such fields. Some of these contractors include Base Energy, Amni International, Springfield E & P, Eco Atlantic Oil and Gas, GOIL/GNPC, Aker and AGM.
He assured Pertamina that Ghana does not only have impressive services, royalty and fiscal policy systems but also a vibrant regulatory framework that would inure to their benefits. Mr. Harmah disclosed that in 2022, the country seeks to launch a second licensing round which would have about 15 blocks available on offer at the Eastern side, which is the Accra-Keta basin. ‘About 8 blocks are expected to be awarded on competitive bidding while others will come under direct negotiations’, Mr. Harmah emphasized.
Mr. Harmah stressed that Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector presents one of the best opportunities in the sub-region to investors both from below and above the ground factors. He mentioned the availability of three (3) FPSOs, offshore pipelines, sub-sea infrastructure, a well-defined Maritime Boundary as well as a stable business and political environment as positive attributes for investing in an economy like that of Ghana.
The Vice President, Upstream Business Development, Sub Holding Upstream, PT Pertamina Hulu Energy, Mr. Henricus Herwin, Mr. Pa Eddi described the presentation by the Petroleum Commission of Ghana as very comprehensive. He led a few questions posed to the Commission which were adequately and satisfactorily dealt with by Mr. Ebenezer Armah.
The Minister Counsellor responsible for Political Affairs of the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, Mr. Fahmi Aris Innayah was grateful to the Petroleum Commission for the available information and opportunitiesin the oil and gas sector of Ghana. He gave the assurance that Pertamina would also support every effort of government to realize the country’s energy needs to the fullest.
PT Pertamina is an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. It was created in August, 1968 by the merger of Pertamin and Permina. In 2020, the firm was the third-largest crude oil producer in Indonesia behind ExxonMobil’s Mobil Cepu Ltd. and US-based Chevron Pacific. Some of its key subsidiaries include pertamina EP, Pertamina Gas, pertamina geothermal Energy and Pertamina Drilling Services of Indonesia.