The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has reiterated its resolve to maintain the prevailing peace and stability in the region as the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) prepares to begin drilling an oil and gas exploration well in the Voltaian Basin next year.
The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, who is the Chairman of REGSEC, gave the assurance when the Deputy Minister of Energy, Herbert Krapa, led a government delegation to hold discussions with members of the council in Tamale last Saturday.
The visit was to update members of the REGSEC on the progress of work on the Voltaian Basin Project.
In his remarks, Alhaji Shaibu noted that after years of protracted conflict, the region was now a peaceful and safe destination for business and industrialisation.
“We began this journey in complete awareness of its importance to the development of Ghana and what it would also mean for the region’s growth and you can rest assured that the business climate in this region is healthy and secured," he pledged.
He said the REGSEC would continue to work in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure that GNPC achieved its goal of drilling a well in the Voltaian Basin to open the region to the rest of the world.
For his part, Mr Krapa expressed his appreciation to the members of REGSEC for their support for the project.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to utilising revenues from Ghana’s oil activities to meet the developmental needs of Ghanaians.
“Our visit, with the management of GNPC, is an opportunity to not only monitor the activities of the project directly but to also get feedback on same from stakeholders such as yourself on the progress made so far," he said.
That, he said, would shape the next phase of the project by addressing any pressing issue that might have arisen so far.
Briefing members of the council on the state of the project, the Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, commended the REGSEC for the cooperation and support so far.
“We have made tremendous progress since the commencement of work in 2017 which casts a positive outlook in relation to Ghana’s quest to find oil onshore; and we are thankful for your incredible commitment and support of this important national task,” he stated.
He stressed the need for strengthening multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration to ensure continuation of the project.
The Voltaian Basin spans about 460 communities in 13 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), 13 of which are in the Northern and Savannah regions.
Ghana has over the years conducted regional studies on its own as well as commissioning third-party experts such as Robertson CGG and De-Goyler and Macnaughton to deepen its understanding of Ghana’s sedimentary basin.
Following the discovery of potential oil, the GNPC has been exploring the hydrocarbon prospective of the country’s onshore sedimentary basin (Voltaian basin) under a reconnaissance license through a mix of geophysical, geological and geochemical techniques since 2017.
Currently, contractors at the various projects sites are making significant progress towards the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities.