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West African Well Engineering Forum 2nd June 2022

Mr Chairman, colleagues from the industry, distinguished invited guests, ladies, and gentlemen, I am delighted to give the opening remarks at the 2nd West African Well Engineering Forum. First, I like to congratulate the organizers of this conference for being able to put this together after missing out for two years due to the covid pandemic. I also wish to welcome you all to Ghana, Akwaaba to you all and hope you enjoy your stay in our beautiful country.

This year's theme of Digitization, Innovation and the Energy Transition, and Sustainable Technology and Local Content Road Map for the West African Upstream Sector is in line with the Accelerated Strategic Growth pillars of GNPC.

GNPC, as a state agency, is mandated to engage in the upstream exploration, production, and disposal of the hydrocarbon resources of Ghana. It is backed by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Law (PNDCL 64), the Exploration and Production Law (PNDCL 84), and the new Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016 (Act 919).
The combined effect of these laws allows GNPC to pursue exploration activities either as a standalone operator or in partnership with other companies. In pursuance of being an independent operator, GNPC has four strategic pillars that are hinged on:
- Building Capacity and Expanding Activities,
- Replacing and Growing Reserves,
- Efficient Capitalization, Optimum Participation, and
- Catalyzing Local Content Development.

I will elaborate on the first two pillars of which I believe there are opportunities for collaboration with captains of industry gathered here. In building capacity, GNPC continues to collaborate with industry and academia to build the competencies of both its staff and the young talented Ghanaians through scholarships. GNPC has also collaborated with academia through its professorial chair program and contributed to putting infrastructure from primary education to tertiary.

GNPC continues to build its human capital through Secondment Programs, Industry Training Programs and Master's Programs. This has proven to be key to achieving local capacity directed at becoming an independent operator. Our technical and petro-business teams have been exposed to the industry, with some working in capacities which hitherto would have been occupied by expatriates. These initiatives would go a long way to increasing local capacity in Ghana.

On the issue of local content, GNPC leverages its capacity as a partner in the various license areas to push for operators to engage the services of our indigenous companies for the supply of goods and services. We believe this continues to aid in the drive to ensure these indigenous companies have their fair share of the Ghanaian supply chain market.

GNPC, as part of its mandate to grow reserves, is working on Ghana's inland basin, the Voltaian Basin, and other shallow-water projects. A six-year Work Program is being implemented by GNPC, which will end in 2024 under the Voltaian Basin Project, with a budget of US$ 153.77million. The program includes: - Acquisition, processing, and interpretation of regional 2D seismic lines.
- Collection and analysis of subsurface gases for geochemical analysis.
- Acquisition, processing, and interpretation of 3D seismic data.
- Drilling of two exploration wells.

Under the GNPC operated Block, GH-WB-01 in the Tano Basin, offshore Ghana. The Corporation is currently engaging the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Commission, and a seismic contractor to acquire 3D seismic over the Block by the end of 2022 at the cost of about US$14 million. Following the processing and interpretation of the data, the Corporation will seek the assistance of the Minister for Energy to engage potential investors or competent partners to farm-in into the asset and share the risk and reward of drilling an exploration well by mid-2024.

As all industry gravitates toward digitization in the era of big data and the internet of things, GNPC is embarking on a digitalization drive by acquiring the PI software to ensure real-time production monitoring and surveillance and relevant data inhouse to perform reservoir, well, production and facilities optimization and analysis. This will ensure efficient management of our current and future resources.

Well Engineering has evolved from the traditional and classical era to a modern, innovative and technological era. GNPC has played its part by supporting its partners to practicalize this evolution. The drive and insistence of GNPC on the use of modern, dual performance, 7th generation offshore rigs by its partners is by no accident but a reflection of GNPC's endorsement of digitization, innovation and technology agenda. The endorsement and insistence on the use of the SMART well technologies by our partners in the areas of drilling, completion and well intervention.

Presently, GNPC is undertaking the first-ever decommissioning project in Ghana within the offshore Saltpond Field. Our technical team is working with experienced industry personnel, including well-engineering and decommissioning personnel, to ensure the industry standards are implemented on the project. The completion of this project will offer the GNPC technical team additional skills for future decommissioning projects in Ghana.

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, the energy transition discussion has taken centre stage globally recently and as an energy company, we are concerned about the recent discussions on leaving the hydrocarbons underground. In February 2022, I was part of a panel discussion at the National Energy Transition Forum organized by the Ministry of Energy on the theme “Moving Ghana Towards a net-zero future” to solicit Ghanaians' and industry views. The big question is, is the World/Africa/West Africa/Ghana ready for the energy transition? How much is a developing country like Ghana contributing to climate change and carbon emissions? How energy efficient are the alternates to fossil and can it meet the ever-growing energy demand? How does all the questions above situate with Ghana, a developing country that requires harnessing all our energy resources for our development and the laws establishing GNPC mandating GNPC to grow Ghana's reserves? The discussion has begun and will not end anytime soon; however, I believe our industry can collaborate with academia using technology to sustainably produce hydrocarbons that provide a win-win situation for all. I believe this industry always rises to the challenge and this would not be any different.

GNPC would continue to work and strengthen our relations with energy stakeholders in West Africa and across the globe. We are delighted to be given the opening address and looking forward to furthering the discussion on collaboration. I wish you well in your deliberations.

Thank you.



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