More roles in the country’s developing oil and gas industry are increasingly opening up for Ghanaian employees as they emerge as the dominant workforce driving the multibillion-dollar industry.
A report published by the Finance Ministry shows that as at end of last year, out of the 5,950 persons employed in the upstream petroleum sector, 5,124 were Ghanaians and 826 were expatriates. The jobs were categorised into management positions, technical roles, and “other relevant roles”.
Out of the 721 management positions available in upstream oil companies licensed by the Petroleum Commission, Ghanaians occupied 612, with the rest going to expatriates.
The 2019 Reconciliation Report on the Petroleum Holding Fund submitted to Parliament further revealed that under technical core roles, Ghanaians employed in the hydrocarbons sector numbered 2,714, representing almost 76 percent of all employees with such job functions.
Regarding “other relevant roles” in the industry, Ghanaians accounted for nearly 100 percent of positions available.
The increasing role of Ghanaians in the oil and gas sector comes on the back of a number of legislation and policies pushed by the government to ensure the country’s resources benefit its nationals the most.
The report said that to further government’s local content agenda, the Petroleum Commission’s Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Programme trained five Ghanaian welders in Canada who have since passed their knowledge on to 20 other welders in Takoradi.
According to the report, the country’s effective implementation of the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations 2013 is yielding the right results as the Petroleum Commission has seen a significant increase in domestic companies registered to participate in the upstream industry.
As at the end of 2019, about 800 indigenous companies had registered with the commission to supply goods and services to companies in the oil and gas industry, while the total value of contracts awarded to indigenous companies amounted to US$72.7m, and to joint ventures US$360.5m, in 2019.
Commenting on further developments in government’s quest to deepen local content in the sector, the report said a draft operational guideline for the administration of the local content fund is currently under review and is expected to be rolled out by the first half of this year.
In 2019, the local content fund, which was established by the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 2016 to provide resources to support local content initiatives, accrued US$2.77m, representing 1 percent of contract sums approved by the commission in consonance with the law.
The report cited some challenges with operating the fund, which include delays in payment of fund contributions as well as non-payment by some contractors who point to stability clauses in their petroleum agreements.
The total petroleum receipts of the country in 2019 was US$937.58m, compared with US$977.12m in 2018, representing a 4.1 percent decrease. This was due largely to a 10.2 percent decline in the achieved price of US$63.19 per barrel in 2019 compared to US$70.34 per barrel in 2018.
The 2020 budget projected total petroleum receipts of US$1.57bn this year, but a March 30 statement to Parliament by the Finance Minister cut the estimated revenue by US$1bn in view of the crude oil price collapse following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.