Ghana’s crude oil production continues to take a downward trajectory as the semi-annual oil production decreases by 13.2 per cent which is a significant development for the country’s oil industry and its economy.
According to the data, a total of 22.5 million barrels (bbls) of crude oil was produced in the first half of 2023 compared to the production volume of 25.9 million barrels within the same period last year.
The decline is due to production decreases on all three producing fields of Jubilee, TEN, and SGN Fields, which respectively declined by 12 per cent, 17.5 per cent and 12.9 per cent.
“This is the fourth consecutive reduction in year-on-year (y-o-y) crude oil production volumes since inception,” the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC) Semi Annual Report on the Use and Management of Petroleum Revenue, highlighted.
According to the report, Jubilee’s production decreased from 14.9 million bbls in the first half of 2022 to 13.1 million bbls in the first half of 2023 with average daily oil production reducing from 82,560 bbls in the first half of 2022 to 72,449 bbls of 2023 same period.
The report noted that TEN productions declined from 4.4 million bbls in first half of 2022 to 3.6 million bbls in the first half of 2023. The average daily oil production declined from 24,263.00 bbls in the first half 2022 to 20,032.24 bbls in the first half of 2023.
SGN production declined from 6.6 million bbls in the first half of 2022 to 5.7 million bbls in the first half of 2023 with average daily production reducing from 36,206.76 bbls in 2022 to 31,562.9 bbls in 2023.
Within the period under review, gas production consisting of Associated and Non- Associated Gas from all the three fields was 130,065.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet (MMSCF).
The report also indicated that a total lifting of 22 was made within the first half of the year where a total of 14 liftings totalling 13,273,962 bbls were made by the Jubilee Partners as compared to 15 liftings for the same period in 2022.
Liftings, totaling 2.9 million bbls were made by the TEN partners in the first half of 2023 compared to 4 liftings of 3.9 million bbls recorded in the first half of 2022.
SNG partners lifted 5 parcels of crude oil, totaling 4.7 million bbls compared to seven parcels amounting to 6.6 million bbls for the same period in 2022.
Upstream Development to Boost Oil Production
The decline in oil production in the country has mainly been attributed to the overly dependence on old reserves and the lack of investment and development in previous years. However, Tullow Oil and its joint venture partners have recently undertaken significant investment and infrastructural development to boost future oil production.
In 2022, Tullow introduced four new wells (one new producer, two new water injectors and a previously drilled water injector) brought on-stream at its Jubilee field. Earlier this year the company announced plans to introduce six new wells across the Jubilee and TEN fields this year which is expected to push the company’s production above 150,000 barrels per day (bopd).
In July 2023, Tullow announced the start-up of the Jubilee South East (JSE) project which is a joint project with its joint venture partners Kosmos Energy, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, PetroSA and Jubilee Oil Holdings to drill wells and install the infrastructure needed to bring previously undeveloped reserves to production.
The partnership has identified multiple future drilling locations and through an ongoing infill drilling programme expect to increase production at the Jubilee field over the next few years. An estimated $1 billion has been invested on the project over the last three years.
While Ghana’s semi-annual oil production has been subject to fluctuations due to various factors, it is important for Ghana to manage its oil resources sustainably to ensure long-term benefits for its economy.
In response to declining production, the country must take steps to boost exploration and production efficiency, invest in alternative energy sources, or diversify its economy to reduce its reliance on oil revenue. It’s important for Ghana to manage its oil resources sustainably and plan for a future with varying oil production levels to ensure economic stability and growth.