The discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities offshore Ghana in recent years has generated a lot of interest in the oil and gas sector. The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Law, 1984 (PNDCL 84), sets out the policy framework and describes the role of the Ministry of Energy, which regulates the industry. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which is empowered to undertake petroleum exploration and production on behalf of the Government, is authorized to enter into joint ventures and production-sharing agreements with commercial organizations. GNPC was established under the GNPC Law of 1983 (PNDCL 64).
Between 2002 and 2008, 12 acreages were awarded to 10 oil and gas companies for petroleum exploration and production in Ghana. Significant discoveries have been made by a number of the exploration drillings that have been taken place offshore Ghana. Currently investment opportunities exist in the gas sector and the entire downstream sector of the industry.
Under the sub-sector of electricity, prospective independent power producers are being welcomed for the development and operation of additional power generation units under very clear policy frameworks. Ghana currently has an installed capacity of 1925 MW, representing a hydro and thermal mix and an additional 1615 MW capacity of generation is also underway. Of the generation capacity under development a significant number represents IPPs. The policy goal of the Government of Ghana is to have a minimum generation capacity of 5,000 MW by 2015 and so IPPs are being aggressively incorporated in the programme to assure energy security. It needs mentioning that because of the West Africa Power Pool Project, which links the grid of Ghana and a number of energy deficit neighbouring countries, virtually all energy generated has a ready market in the sub-region.
In consonance with government commitments to ensure transparency in the oil and gas industry, the under-listed simplified steps have been designed as a guide to prospective investors in the industry.