President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that government will ensure greater local participation in onshore oil drilling once exploration establishes commercial quantities in the Volta basin.
Responding to request by a delegation of chiefs from the Avenor Traditional Council to find “wisdom and resources” to drill oil in the area, the President indicated that several studies and steps will have to be taken to establish the volume of oil in the basin before.
“Seismic studies and several other studies are in the process of being done. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that at the end of the studies we will be able to confirm what the Romanians started so many, many years, that really, there is oil there in substantial quantities,” he said.
Although President Akufo-Addo said onshore oil is not cheaper to drill, offshore oil is “a very expensive business” for which reason it is mostly undertaking by giant corporations in the industry.
“When it comes to onshore the capital involve is not expensive so we are hoping if the studies confirm there’s indeed oil there [in the Volta basin] we can get as many Ghanaians as possible; people from the area and elsewhere, to be involve and bring it up,” he assured.
Even before exploration concludes, Nana Akufo-Addo want land titling and mapping to be handled carefully by the chiefs in the area carefully saying “I’m going to appeal to you to be very, very careful and diligent about mapping out land title and land development in the area”.
That, he explained, would avoid possible litigation and issues once everything is cleared for drilling to be done.
Paramount chief and president of the Avenor Traditional Area, Torgbui Dorglo Anumah IV, who led the delegation to the Jubilee House Monday morning, earlier appealed to President Akufo-Addo to consider onshore oil drilling in the Avenor area.
“We also want exploration of oil to start immediately in the Avenor Traditional Area. We have oil,” he told the president.
The paramount chief recounted how some Romanians discovered oil onshore the Avenor area many years ago but packed out of the area on the claim that the oil was not in commercial quantities.
“We are of the belief that their technologies were limited and not advanced enough. Today oil has been discovered in the Volta basin and we know that the catchment area covers our area also,” he said.
“We are pleading and hoping you find the wisdom and financial resources to undertake this very important project…and we shall endeavour to support it with all our might and resources and help create the necessary ground for a successful exploration,” Torgbui Anumah stated.
The delegation was at the Jubilee House to thank the President for giving them a traditional council status and also for honouring their invitation to celebrate the 30 years of the creation of the Akatsi district assembly.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana