The Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Isaac Osei has said that the country’s refinery must be allowed to refine portions of Ghana’s crude oil for the local market instead of selling all on the international market.
According to Mr Osei, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) currently sells all of the country’s oil on the international market. Meanwhile, TOR goes searching for crude oil to refine into finished products for local consumption.
This is he said does not give Ghanaians the expected joy after Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities.
He said this on the sidelines of the just ended offshore Technology Conference in Houston Texas USA, at a special panel put together by the Ministry of Energy to discuss issues affecting Ghana’s Energy Sector.
He said that “for many Ghanaians, this is a paradox that government has to resolve. Ghana has discovered crude oil in commercial quantities and this should translate into the state refinery being provided a portion of such crude as its feedstock.”
“The people of Ghana and government as a whole would benefit a great deal and the government’s agenda of Ghana Beyond Aid would be given an additional boost it the right structures are put in place and TOR is made to refine local crude oil from TEN, Jubilee and or Sankofa fields as feedstock, ” he added.
He further indicated that TOR had refined TEN crude oil in the past and must, therefore, be allowed to refine crude oil from Jubilee and Sankofa should not be a problem for the Refinery.
He indicated that TOR’s boilers were designed to process light sweet crude which is drilled in Ghana.
He added that “while this would ensure energy product security on the Ghanaian market, it would also boost the confidence of Ghanaians in that the nation was adding value to its own resources”.
He, however, conceded that he was aware of the financial implications of such decisions and suggested that a well-structured financial model should be put in place by the government and its strategic partners to support such a move.
Mr. Osei emphasized that Ghana’s energy sector could contribute to the government’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda when a strategic synergy is created between the upstream sections.