Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Jnr., says the Commission will in the coming year 2022, step-up efforts aimed at enhancing technology transfer in the upstream oil and gas sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day 2021 local content conference of the Petroleum Commission, Ghana, held at the offices of the Commission, under the theme: “Optimizing Technology Transfer in Ghana’s Upstream Petroleum Industry”, Mr Faibille indicated that after a series of engagements with upstream petroleum companies over the last few months, the commission has “realized that there is a gap in terms of practicalizing technology transfer requirements in the industry”.
The most notable among the issues identified according to the Petroleum Commission boss “is the fact that skills development” such as the use of non-proprietary technologies, skills acquired from accessible certifications, training of technical personnel, acquisition and use of relevant industry softwares, “is the dominant component of technology transfer in the industry” and for this, the Commission “applauds the IOCs that kept faith with it in transferring knowledge and skills to Ghanaians.
“However, transfer of core technical skills required in the oilfield operations have been limited. We need to address this gap if we are to increase the level of competence in the core technical areas”.
“Likewise, we need to also ensure that apart from skills development, other components of technology transfer such as techno ware (tangible technologies, e.g. tools, machineries); info ware (software, design drawings, information/database solutions); and organ ware (organizational development strategies), are also prioritized, integrated and transferred” Egbert Faibille said.
“Doing so will open a new frontier of prospects in areas that requires specialized and high-level technology such as Well Engineering Services, Seismic Data Acquisition, Processing and Interpretation Activities, FPSO Construction and O&M Services, among others, to Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses” he added.
The oil and gas industry Mr Faibille says “is highly technical and utilizes advance technologies in all the operational phases”. He therefore called on local Ghanaian Companies not to concentrate on just the knowledge acquisition but aim to participant in provision of high technical goods and services.
“Among the over 1,700 goods and services procured by Exploration and Production (E&P) companies, majority of them falls within the ambit of mid to high technical services hence have high commercial value”.
“I therefore urge indigenous Ghanaian companies (IGCs) to proactively build competence in these areas and not only concentrate on the ‘low hanging fruits” Egbert Faibille noted.
“IGCs should explore ways to attract the right partners and develop their ability to receive technology in order to make the technology transfer process a smooth one and advance their chances of participating in mid to high technical goods and services” he added.
Urgent national action
Deputy Minister for Energy, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, in a speech read on behalf of the Energy Minister, Matthew Poku Prempeh, observed that inspite of “efforts from both the “public and private” sectors in the country “aimed at local content development and technology transfer in the petroleum upstream industry”, there is still “more to be done given the changing dynamics within the petroleum space globally”.
“The energy transition is fast progressing with very drastic measures to compel its enforcement. As a result, the world will continue to witness a steady decline in funding and investment from the West in oil and gas projects”.
“Despite this phenomenon, Ghana remains committed to fully exploiting its petroleum resource in an environmentally responsible manner to enable her fund her development” the Energy Minister said.
“Consequently, Ghana (through the GNPC) must expedite the process of attaining the status of full technical self-sufficiency for exploration and production activities, bearing in mind the 2050 deadline set globally”.
“The extreme image of all foreign contractors withdrawing from Ghana and leaving the nation incapable of producing oil on its own must forever drive Ghana to fully apply herself to technology transfer and local content development” Egyapa Mercer said in the speech read on behalf of the Energy Minister.
The 2021 LCC
Participants of the 2021 local content conference during the first day will be taken through three topics. First, Technology Transfer: Prospects and Challenges of Local Content Development in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry.
The second topic will focus on bridging the Technical Skills Gap in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry: The Role of Industry Players.
The last topic for day one will be “Developing Appropriate Technology and Skills Transfer Model in Oil and Gas Industry.
Kwaku Boateng the Director of Local Content at Petroleum Commission, Ghana together with Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah of CTVET and Natalia Magaia Camba of the National Petroleum Institute of Mozambique, will facilitate the three session for day one.
Day two will commence with a look at the fourth topic, Assessing the Gap between Laws and Practice of Technology Transfer in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry, which will be facilitated by Adelaide Benneh Prempeh of B and P Associates.
Five (5) other topics will be considered before the conference comes to an end and they are; Developing Future Technology in the Oil and Gas Industry, Overcoming the Barriers to Achieving Technology Transfer Targets in Ghana: The Role of Foreign Companies and Indigenous Companies, are the two of the remaining five that would be looked.
Optimizing Local Content and Capacity Building in the Era of Energy Transition, building a Learning Organization to Embrace New Technology and Diagnosing Technology Transfer Processes in Ghana’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry: Experiences, will be the last three topics of the conference.