Ghanaian Hydrocarbon Reserves

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Estimates for Ghana's oil reserves vary widely. Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) chief executive Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye said in late 2011 that he believed Ghana's total oil reserves to be at least 1.25 billion barrels.[1] Estimates for the reserves of the Jubilee field, Ghana's largest, range from 800 million to 1.8 million barrels of oil.[2]

The country's oil reserves could reach five billion barrels by 2015 as onshore oil exploration increases and more fields start production, the chairman of the Ghanaian parliament’s energy committee said at the end of 2010.[3]


After producing an average of only 8,880 barrels per day (bpd) in 2010,[4] Ghana's oil production increased to 84,737 bpd by late 2011,[5] with nearly all of that production coming from the Jubilee field.[6]

Ghana expected to raise total output to 120,000 bpd sometime in 2012, Reuters reported in February of that year.[7] Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Fifi Kwetey said also in February 2012 that Ghana planned to boost crude oil output more than fivefold in the next five years, to about 500,000 bpd.[6]


Ghana became Africa's newest oil exporter in December 2010, when the Jubilee field began shipping oil.[6] According to investment bank Renaissance Capital, crude oil in 2011 surpassed cocoa as Ghana's second-biggest merchandise export, after gold, generating $1.97 billion in export earnings in the first nine months of 2011.[8]



Overall, Ghana has an estimated 4.85 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in natural gas reserves,[9] with 1.2 tcf held in the Jubilee field.[10] Natural gas was first discovered in the Cape Three Points Basin offshore Ghana in 1974.[11]


As of February 2012, there were no available reports indicating that Ghana had already begun production of natural gas. Reuters reported in August 2011 that Ghana planned to borrow $800 million from the state-owned China Development Bank to develop its natural gas infrastructure, with first gas expected by early-2013. George Sipa-Adzah Yankey, head of the Ghana National Gas Company, said that Ghana's gas production would then be expected to stabilise at around 120 million cubic feet (mcm) per day.[12]

The project, which would take 18-20 months to complete, involves building a gas pipeline to link offshore production sites to a new processing plant in the Western region of Bonwire. Most of the processed gas will fuel Ghana's gas-fired power plant at Aboadze, but Ghana aims to export gas in the future, according to Yankey.[12]

External Links

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  1. "Ghana Oil Target Likely Delayed Again: GNPC" Ghana Oil Info, Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  2. "Ghana | Transparency Snapshot" Revenue Watch Institute, Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  3. "Ghana Oil Reserves to Be 5 Billion Barrels in 5 Years" Bloomberg, 1 December 2010.
  4. "Ghana" CIA World Factbook, Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  5. "Oil Can’t Be Magic Wand!" Ghana Oil Info, 15 August 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Ghana to Boost Oil Output Fivefold in Five Years on New Wells" Bloomberg, 7 February 2012.
  7. "FACTBOX-Key political risks in the Gulf of Guinea" Reuters, 10 February 2012.
  8. "Ghana oil production yet to peak" How We Made it in Africa, 20 January 2012.
  9. "Statement On Issues With Gas Infrastructure Development", 22 December 2011.
  10. "Ghana’s Jubilee field has 1.2 trillion cube feet of gas", 21 August 2010.
  11. "Extraction of Crude Petroleum in Ghana" MBendi, Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Ghana to borrow $800 mln from China to develop gas" Reuters, 12 August 2011.