General News of Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Accra, June 19, GNA - The Minority NDC on Tuesday commended efforts made towards the discovery of oil Cape Three Points in the Western Region but said this was not new.
The Minority urged caution in raising sentiments and hopes of Ghanaians on the discovery, which he noted has not been clearly articulated in terms of quality and quantity neither by government nor the consortium working in the Cape Three Points area.
Responding to a statement on an oil find by Ghana made by Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Energy, Mr Lee Ocran, NDC member for Jomoro said a similar report was made 37 years ago to the day that Ghana had struck oil, arguing that it turned out that we had not made anything worth jubilating about.
Mr Ocran said it was significant, but at the same time strange, why government chose to make the announcement yesterday, June 18, 2007. He then produced a Daily Graphic clipping of June 18, 1970 which read, "Oil and gas deposits in potentially significant quantity have been discovered in Ghana - the first oil found to have been hit since prospecting began several years ago.
The report then went on to say, "that the find was made six days ago at a site eight miles off the shores of Saltpond, near Cape Coast in the Central region, by a consortium of companies, which has been test-drilling in the area."
In similar fashion as the Energy Minister brought a bottle of crude to show to Parliament, Mr Ocran said Mr R.R. Amponsah, the then Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources showed tested samples of the oil to Parliamentary correspondents amidst jubilating.
Mr Ocran explained that he comes from the area and should be happy just as all Ghanaians should be but urged government to take the next step of making a final determination on the matter before going to town. Dr. Kwame Ampofo, NDC South Dayi, was of the opinion that serious analysis has to be done to ensure that the hopes of Ghanaians were not unduly raised to the extent that our troubles as a nation were over. Dr Kwesi Ndoum, Minister of Public Sector Reform and one time Energy Minister commended the efforts of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation in coming to this level, saying, "their sacrifices should not be lost on any of us. The oil discovery offers hope and the way forward towards development for all of us."
Earlier, the Energy Minister said Parliament had been instrumental in scrutinizing and approving the exploration agreements and it was only proper to share recent developments in the energy sector.
"Mr Speaker, to be precise, the exploration team that has been engaged in prospecting for oil at West Cape Three Points area, off the shores of the western part of the country, announced to government yesterday, that they have made a discovery of high (quality) crude oil, which at this stage appears to be in commercial quantities."
"Mr Speaker, indeed, this should be very good news to all Ghanaians, especially my colleagues who in this House helped to improve upon the agreements that have come to the House," Mr Adda said. He said it was important to note that government did not make the declaration but that the information was shared voluntarily by Kosmos Energy on behalf of their other partners.
Mr Adda said although government was pleased at the discovery, it was not "over joyed at this point in time since a considerable amount of work would still have to be done before we actually realize the benefits of this discovery." 19 June 07