The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has highlighted regulatory measures it has implemented to ensure stability across Ghana’s downstream sector, following the global oil and gas market volatility caused by the Russian-Ukraine war and energy transition-related policies.
Speaking during a presentation at African Refiners & Distribution Association (ARDA) Week 2023, which is currently taking place in Cape Town, Hamid called for increased cooperation between African countries and players within the downstream sector, and between private and public sector institutions to ensure the security of energy supply and affordability.
“For the first time in 30 years, we have installed fuel caps as a measure to intervene and to control market instability,” he said.
This has helped restrict uncontrolled increases in fuel and energy prices at the height of the global market instability since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine started, stated Hamid.
The regulator also spoke about the Gold for Oil Program, whereby the country is leveraging its vast gold resources to buy petroleum from international markets.
“We exchange gold directly for petroleum products from international firms. We buy the gold directly from large and small mining firms and exchange it for petroleum. This has stabilised our industry and kept energy prices affordable,” he said.
In addition, the Ghanaian government, through the NPA, has also removed energy subsidies, with Hamid stating that “We have removed subsidies and deregulated our markets. Industries were shutting down because the government was finding it hard to find the money to provide subsidies and to this day industry is being powered by investments in the private sector and there are no complaints of supply. We are ensuring affordability and security for the vulnerable consumers through the removal of energy subsidies.”
With the lack of adequate refinery capacity being one of Ghana’s key challenges restricting the exploitation of local oil and gas resources to drive energy sector growth, the NPA has also created a special fund to help refineries to boost their capacity to reach 50 bbl and be able to meet the country’s growing demand.