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Business News of Friday, 18 February 2022

Source: GNA

GNPC begins engagement to decommission Saltpond Oil Fields

Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Ghana National Petroleum Corporation

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is engaging stakeholders as part of processes to decommission the Saltpond Oil Field - Ghana's first oil field.

The engagements, among other objectives, are geared towards informing, educating and soliciting feedback from stakeholders.

Key stakeholders who have been engaged so far include the Central Regional Minister’s office represented by the Chief Director, Member of Parliament for Mfantisman, Ophelia Hayford, the Chiefs and people of Mfantisman, Ekumfi and Cape Coast.

The rest are; Security Heads, Canoe Owners, Assembly Members and women representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and the Media.

The other institutions to be engaged are the Fisheries Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and the Ghana Maritime Authority.

The decommissioning project would be executed on behalf of the GNPC by Hans & Co Oil and Gas Ltd, a wholly Ghanaian owned Oil and Gas, Engineering, Construction and Civil Works Company.

Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, General Manager, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, said the stakeholders' engagement was to assure Ghanaians that the Corporation was law-abiding and a socially responsible entity.

He promised that the engagements would continue in the coming weeks, stressing that “GNPC was committed to engaging all stakeholders identified through its mapping exercise and expressed confidence that the chiefs and people would join the Corporation to undertake the project to save the country from any potential disaster."

“We believe in the competences of our local companies and that is why after going through the procurement processes, we settled on Hans & Co Oil and Gas Ltd," he said.

He noted that the company had a proven track record of employing industry best practices in the execution of all its projects, that ensured effective sociocultural and environmental stewardship.

On the issue of perceived resistance to the decommissioning works by the impacted communities, he stated that “naturally you should expect the fisherfolks and the communities to have some sentimental attachment to the field, however the current state of the platform is a potential disaster, and we need to decommission it to save human, aquatic life and the entire coast of Ghana”.

The General Manager for Sustainability, explaining what was involved in the decommissioning, pointed out that the project would involve Permanent Plugging and Abandonment of the six wells drilled during the project, removal and dismantling of the Mr Louie Platform, the installation of navigation buoys with marine light in compliance with Internal Maritime Organisation laws, and the Disposal and management of waste.

Nana Kwesi Brebo III, Chief of Kuntu, speaking at a public meeting with major stakeholders in Mfantisman, called for the unwavering support for the planned decommissioning.

He said his expectation was that GNPC would conduct its activities in an environmentally friendly manner whilst minimising the impact on the fisherfolks who depended on the sea for their livelihoods.

He advised GNPC to regularly engage the key stakeholders at every stage of the decommissioning process to reduce suspicion and tension.