Ghana, China Collaborate To Explore Oil

Ghana and China are to collaborate for massive exploration of oil that could make Ghana a leading world explorer and hub of the industry in the West African sub-region. The collaboration is between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the China National Oil Offshore Corporation (CNOOC), which would initially provide financial and technical support to the GNPC for the project. The China National Oil Offshore Corporation operates in 11 countries, and the collaboration comes from the realization that Ghana was rich in energy resources, had local skills and good political leadership. The process was announced in Accra when a Chinese business delegation, led by Mr Fu Cheng Yu, Chief Executive Officer of the CNOOC paid a courtesy call on President John Evans Atta Mills at the Osu Castle in Accra at the week-end. The additional responsibility comes in the wake of President Mills� recent challenge to the Energy Minster to find ways of Ghana getting into oil exploration as a measure to check the periodic but prolonged energy crisis. President Mills acknowledged the good ties between China and Ghana and said the two nations needed to learn from each other for the benefit of their people. He said the project was part of the overall plan of Government to provide jobs for the people. �We are grateful that you�ve come at the time we need your technical support,� President Mills said, and recalled the Chinese assistance Ghana received for its development as a new independent state. President Mills promised that Government would create the right environment and provide what it would take for a mutually beneficial co-operation. �Feel free and discuss matters with the GNPC,� President Mills said. Relating his company�s rise from a negligible entity to a giant oil company in China to Ghana�s potential, Mr Yu, said Ghana could do better with her excellent energy resources, skills and good leadership. He said lessons from the past 10 years had made China develop a new energy development model, and the lessons in Ghana would be based on the local situation. �GNPC can become one of the largest oil companies in the world. You can easily build Ghana into a hub,� Mr Yu said, and pointed out the attempts at industrialization should not leave out environmental concerns. He stressed on the need for Ghana to be master of her own destiny, rather than depending on foreign investment and build its own oil company to meet the needs of her people. Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, said under the deal, the GNPC would move out of its traditional finding and co-ordination of oil sites to oil exploration, taking into account all energy resources available.