Center for Energy Economics to Assess Ghana’s Oil & Gas Sector

Nov. 6, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin's Center for Energy Economics (CEE), at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will assess the state of the oil and gas sector in the west African country of Ghana.

The assessment will act as a map for developing the infrastructure and expertise to most effectively manage Ghana's emerging oil and gas industry. The final report, to be completed in early 2010, will also make recommendations to USAID and other key international donors to help plan an integrated, coordinated energy assistance program for Ghana. The assessment kicks off Nov. 9 when the survey team arrives in Accra, Ghana.

Ghana is preparing to reap a windfall from a major new oil discovery off its shores in the Atlantic Ocean. The country, traditionally a net importer of oil and gas, does not yet have the infrastructure and expertise to manage the coming oil boom.  Leaders in Ghana, the U.S. government and other international organizations are working to help prepare the country for its emerging role as a large oil and natural gas producer and potential new exporter.

The CEE team will survey and evaluate the state of the country's workforce, including education and training needs and capacity; government institutions, including best practices and human resource requirements for oil and gas sector oversight and production revenue management; and stakeholders, including affected communities, and news media.

"Our goal is to help prepare Ghanaians for the proper management of their oil sector," said Michelle Michot Foss, director of the CEE. The CEE is a center within the Bureau of Economic Geology, itself a research unit within the Jackson School of Geosciences.

In 2007, independent petroleum exploration companies announced the first major oil discovery in the history of Ghana. The Jubilee field in deep Atlantic waters holds the promise of turning the country into a net exporter of oil for the first time and offers the prospect for boosting economic development. Some experts expect the oil to begin flowing as early as late 2010.

"The CEE team has decades of experience in the oil and gas extractive industries," said Foss, "but this is our first opportunity to directly assist a developing nation that has international recognition for good governance as it becomes an important new producer."

Foss said there is the potential for partnerships among The University of Texas at Austin and Ghanaian universities to improve workforce training for the oil and gas industry. The long relationship between The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Trinidad & Tobago is a much discussed model for how educational partnerships might evolve. Other Texas programs of excellence, including Texas A&M University's Offshore Technology Research Center, will be explored as well. A broad network including universities and training and human resource managers from both operating and oil service companies is being established for the assessment and post-assessment implementation.

The needs assessment is sponsored by USAID. Other assessment team members include The University of Texas at Austin's Petroleum Extension Service, which develops and delivers oil and gas workforce training; Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment, a Ghanaian non-profit development organization and main local partner for CEE's work in Ghana since 2004; and Terra Group, which specializes in stakeholder and civil society engagement. The CEE team will be interacting with USAID and U.S. Department of State officers, the U.S. Minerals Management Service and the U.S. Commercial Service as the assessment proceeds.

For more information, contact: Marc Airhart, College of Natural Sciences, 512 232 1066.

14 Comments to "Center for Energy Economics to Assess Ghana’s Oil & Gas Sector"

1.  ebenezer asamany said on Nov. 10, 2009

I am very hopeful that these efforts will go a good long way. I am a product of The chemical engineering department of the University of science and technology, Ghana, and currently studying for an MEng Petroleum engineering at Dalhousie University , Canada. I served for a year with the Ghana national petrolum corporation, so I will be very glad to be part of this study in any way that I can. I will really like to help. Thank you

2.  patrick k yankey said on Nov. 16, 2009

As a native of the district where the recent oil and gas discovery in Ghana is actually located, I find your effort so helpful and advantageous to be educated and also impart to stakeholders in the host communities so as to avoid the curse and the dutch diseases in oil countries in Africa. I have my bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Cape Coast and want to have my master's in energy economics.

3.  fui gameli segbedzi said on Nov. 16, 2009

I am interested in energy economics and apart from bits of advisory services I offer, I do contribute quite regularly to public discussions regarding Ghana's oil find. Please send me e-mail so I can meet up with the team. My office is in central Accra. Good luck.

4.  SHIEKH AHMED TIJANI said on Dec. 11, 2009

I'm highly impressed with the readiness with which institutions of your caliber are committed to support the sovereign state of Ghana to better manage the oil find. But very strong and formidable systems and mechanisms of relevance to the field of oil and gas are what we need most for the state to explore in large quantities, create markets, institute relevant legislation and to manage the revenue efficiently.

Please extend to me an invitation. I will be grateful to be part of your effort.

Stay blessed.

5.  Godwin said on Jan. 4, 2010

I am a graduate of risk management and insurance from the University of Ghana and a chartered accountant as well. I am interested in offering my knowledge and skills to help in the oil and gas industry in Ghana. I intend on taking an advanced degree in energy trade, finance and economics. Please link me up with the team.

6.  Felix said on Jan. 9, 2010

I presently live in Ghana, and it's heartwarming to know that such effort is been made to prepare the country for its emerging role and challenges as a large oil and natural gas producer. As former exploration geologist with Elf Petroleum Nigeria and now the MD of Project Societe Group, a private oil service company, I've experienced the crisis between oil companies and the host communities and will gladly support any initiative to prevent such recurrence anywhere in Africa.

7.  edward antwi said on Jan. 16, 2010

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has an Energy Center which is a research body within the university dedicated to energy studies within the country and the sub-region. I guess it will be very good for the team to contact and collaborate with this center. I am an affiliate member and can serve as a link.

8.  Hellen Adzoa Kpeglar said on Jan. 24, 2010

I am currently pursuing an MSc degree in energy studies with specialization in oil and gas economics, University of Dundee. I will welcome the opportunity to work and collaborate with this team. I am also currently writing a research paper on the implication of this discovery on Ghana energy demand.

9.  Robert Tagoe said on Jan. 30, 2010

I am currently doing a dissertation on risk management in the oil and gas industry with Ghana as a case study and would love to be part of this.

10.  Dannis Ezekiel Quesi A. said on Feb. 25, 2010

I am an undergraduate at the University of Ghana Business School, currently researching the impact of the oil and gas boom on insurance in Ghana. I will be very happy if I could be part of this team.

11.  George Azaletey said on April 8, 2010

This is a great idea for the people of Ghana and the whole world market. We pray and hope for a fair deal and for it to be a blessing for a change. I think it will bring a smile in to peoples face and make way for equal job opportunities for all and for peace to prevail. Recently moved to Austin with a my first degree and would love to share ideas and opportunities that may arise anytime soon. Hope and pray for the good project.

12.  emmanuel ametsi said on July 28, 2010

Please I want an economist as my role model. Can you please give me one for him or her to direct me on the right path. God bless you.

13.  appiah djomoah r said on Nov. 19, 2010

For centuries, USA has been a leader in helping economies expercially less developed countries to grow. This initiative with the government of Ghana is a step in the right direction. I would be very grateful if I become part of such a project my government and USAID have entered into. I am currently leaving as perminent resident in Dallas-Texas and a first degree holder in Economics and Statistics in the 2nd upper division from Ghana.

14.  sarfo eric nketiah said on Nov. 22, 2010

Ghana is laughing too much today because we have oil. Coal is an exhaustible resource. Why should we deal into it before exploring. Let's use Ghanaian scholars on the field. I'm an applied chemist from university for development studies-ghana and mastering in fuel chemistry. Willing to be part of this team. (+233-0542090320)