The Minister for Petroleu, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, paid a working visit to the Russian Federation from June 22 to 24, 2015, where he had discussions with the Minister for Energy of Russia, Mr. Alexander Novak, the President of Lukoil, Mr. Vagit Alekperov and officials of Gazprom and Rosgeologia.
He was accompanied by the Ambassador of Ghana to the Russian Federation, H.E. Dr. Kodzo K. Alabo, the Chief Executive Officers of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Alexander Mould, and the Petroleum Commission, Mr. Theophilus Ahwireng. Also in the team were some line directors from the Ministry. The visit was at the invitation of the Russian Energy Ministry.
At the Russian Ministry of Energy, the two Ministers explored possible ways in which the provisions of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Ghana can be realized especially in areas related to energy and petroleum. In this regard the two Ministers discussed how Russian Companies such as Lukoil, Gazprom, Rosneft and Rosgeologia could contribute in the development of the energy sector of Ghana. They both therefore pledged to continue to facilitate the cooperation between Russian companies and their Ghanaian counterparts to ensure a win-win situation.
At Lukoil, the Minister met with the President of the company, Vagit Alekperov.
They both discussed Lukoil’s recent decision to farm into the Deep Water Tano/Cape three Points project which is made up of the Pecan, Pecan North and Cob discoveries. The field is currently been operated by Hess. Hess has completed exploratory activities and received approval from the Petroleum Commission in respect of the appraisal plans. The project has proven to be complex and required innovative development strategies. Appraisal for approved discoveries has commenced.
They also discussed how LUKoil can cooperate with Ghana in the petroleum downstream side especially in the face of government’s decision to liberalize petroleum pricing.
In this respect both gentlemen agreed on modalities that will help the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST) meet its mandate of providing the strategic reserve stocks for the country.
The hon. Minister also visited Rosgeologia. Rosgeologia is a Russian multi-industry geological holding company which offers a full range of geological exploration
services – from regional surveys to parametric drilling and subsoil monitoring.
The holding boasts unique expertise, particularly in marine geology and shelf operations. Rosgeologia’s subsidiaries have rich experience in implementing projects abroad including Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.
Rosgeologia clients include such companies as Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, Severstal, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Itera, NLMK, Sibuglemet, BP, Chevron, and many others.
Rosgeologia possesses the results of the Soviet geologists led by Prof. Boshka who in the 1960s conducted some studies on Ghana’s territory including the Voltain Basin. Based on these materials, with the use of state-of-the-art technologies of the geological data correlation, several projects were proposed to be implemented.
But unfortunately that has not seen the light of the day. The Minister’s visit therefore was to restart the initiative that was started in the 1960s.
After the meeting the decision was made to create a joint working group which would include representatives of the Holding, the Government of Ghana and the Ghana National Oil Corporation. It was also decided to prepare and sign a memorandum of the cooperation intent that will guide the relationship.
At Gazprom, the Minister discussed with representatives of the company how the company could work with Ghana to develop the country’s gas industry. It was therefore decided that a follow up meeting will be held with Gazprom to fashion out the way forward within the context of Ghana’s Gas Master Plan.
The Minister also took advantage of his presence in Russia to meet with the Ghanaian community including students studying in various universities in the federation.
The Minister briefed them on progress being made under President Mahama. He encouraged them to be good Ambassadors of the country. The Ghana National Oil Cooperation made a donation of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10000) to a welfare fund established by the students to take care of their welfare issues.
At the end of the visit, it was decided the Ambassador of Ghana, H.E. Dr. Alabo, who was very instrumental in the arrangement of the various meetings, will serve
as the liaison person with the various companies the Ghanaian entourage met.