Dr. Joseph Kwadwo Asenso, Head of Energy, Oil and Gas Unit of the Ministry of Finance says Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is expected to refine more than 60,000 barrels of crude oil daily after it has concluded its strategic partnership talks with Saudi Aramco of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“The current refinery capacity of TOR is 45,000 barrels per day, we are targeting 60,000 barrels a day and beyond.
“The discussion between TOR and Saudi Aramco which is at the final stage is to get TOR to a level where it will become self-sufficient; not to rely on government subvention every now and then.
“Now TOR is in a discussion with Saudi Aramco to help get us there. It has not been finalised so I cannot tell when they will come on board. But discussions are ongoing,” Dr Asenso said.
Dr. Asenso was presenting a paper on the topic: “The Upstream Petroleum Sector: The Challenges and Prospects” at a seminar on development economics in Accra organised by the Economy of Ghana Network (EGN) of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana.
He said the increased refinery of crude oil by TOR would create jobs and save the government from the burden of giving subvention to TOR.
Dr. Asenso said revenue from the oil sector supported the country’s economy. However, he said, Ghana had not reached a stage where the country would be solely dependent on oil revenue.
Dr. Asenso said of the 102,000 barrels produced daily by oil companies in the country, the country got only 17 per cent from the oil produced with the exclusion of corporate taxes adding that the drop in the price of oil had reduced the estimated oil revenue for 2015 significantly.
A Senior Research Fellow at ISSER, Dr Robert Darko Osei, said if the divergence between government revenue and expenditure continued to widen, there would be more pressure on the exchange rate.
He warned that if such a pressure continued, people would invest outside the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Dr Osei, therefore, asked the government to control its expenditure, saying: “We need to nip the divergence between revenue and expenditure in the bud.”
Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, most popularly known as Aramco, is a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.