by? Justice Lee Adoboe
?? ACCRA, Sept. 7 (Xinhua)– Government of Ghana is confident it would achieve its aim of turning Ghana into the leader in oil and gas expertise for the West African sub-region, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister for Energy and Petroleum said here at the weekend.
?? He said the country was also on course in ensuring that Ghana?s oil and gas resources? remained a blessing, rather than a curse to the country.
?? The Minister said these at the weekend during a pre-departure ceremony for 50 Ghanaian beneficiaries ?who were leaving the country to study in the United Kingdom (UK) with scholarship from UK based ?International Oil Company (OIC) Tullow , operators of Ghana?s Jubilee field.
?? Ghana government?s Local Content Act seeks among other things ?to create opportunities in the petroleum sector for as many Ghanaians who would be willing to work in the sector.
?? In line with that vision, ?the government managed to broker an agreement with the Singaporean government just last month ?to have 40 Ghanaian Technicians and 15 Engineers work alongside their Singaporean counterparts and other nationals at the Jurong Shipyard in that country where Ghana?s second Floating Production Storage and Offloading ( FPSO) vessel is being built, disclosed the minister.
?? These trainees including? men and women are being trained to work on the new FPSO being built for the ?Tweneboa Enyenra and Ntomme ( TEN) field expected to produce at its peak 80,000 barrels of oil per day (80,000bopd) and 60 million ?standard cubic feet of gas per day (60MMscfd).
?? These trainees including? men and women are being trained to work on the new FPSO, named after late former presdent John Evans Atta Mills, and is ?being built for the ?Tweneboa Enyenra and Ntomme ( TEN) field, where the partners? expect to record a peak production of ?80,000 barrels of oil per day (80,000bopd) and 60 million ?standard cubic feet of gas per day (60MMscfd).
?? ?Ghana has made significant progress in developing the critical regulatory framework for the oil sector, including the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA). We are also building a critical cader of Ghanaians with the capability to protect the interest of Ghana,? Buah said.
?? He lauded Tullow for its continued investment into the development of critical human resources for the sector.
?? ?Go beyond the provision of scholarships alone. Also get the beneficiaries to get integrated into the sector with ready jobs in the industry,? the minister urged, encouraging all the other IOCs operating in the country to take a cue from Tullow?s initiative to establish such schemes for Ghanaians.
?? So far, 174 Ghanaians have been trained through this single initiative? which also covers eight other countries in which the firm operates. This year 50 new Ghanaian beneficiaries will travel to the UK to train in the fields of interest to them on Tullow?s scholarship.
?? ?Cumulatively, the scheme is building a cadre of skilful Ghanaians who have gained the best in academia and are ready to contribute in various ways to the socio-economic development of Ghana,? Charles Darku, General Manager for Tullow Ghana Ltd, said.
?? The Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme ?in its fourth year spends about 2.7 million U.S Dollars annually on Ghanaian ?beneficiaries alone who are selected through a competitive selection process organized by the British Council in Accra.
?? ?Ghana remains the largest beneficiary of the scheme out of nine countries with 50 scholarship awards annually. The remaining eight countries share 60 scholarships amongst them,? Darku disclosed.
?? According to him, discussions were at an ?advanced stage ?to support the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) IN Kumasi, about 270 kms north of here ?to establish a post-graduate Faculty to train Ghanaians locally in Petroleum Engineering and Geophysics, explaining ?that ?the plan is to gradually reduce the number of students who travel abroad on scholarships.?
?? Tullow and the other partners in the Jubilee oil field have built one of the best middle level technical manpower training institutions in West Africa at the Takoradi Polytechnic, we, together with our partners in the management of the Jubilee field.
?? The third batch of trainees at the Takoradi Polytechnic is preparing to graduate from that institute later this year.? Enditem.
?? Source: Justice Lee Adoboe