Ghana’s Quest for a New Oil Reserve: GNPC’s Ambitious Exploration in Voltaian Basin

In a strategic move aimed at bolstering Ghana’s petroleum reserves, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has embarked on an exploratory mission in the vast inland sedimentary basin that encompasses approximately 40% of the country’s continental landmass. This ambitious endeavour, situated in the Voltaian basin, holds tremendous potential for replenishing Ghana’s petroleum resources and is poised to usher in drilling activities slated for 2024.

Unveiling the Voltaian Basin

Stretching across an expansive 103,600 square kilometres and traversing the Northern, Savannah, Bono, Oti, Ashanti, and Eastern regions, the Voltaian basin is the focal point of GNPC’s innovative exploration efforts. Armed with cutting-edge technology and the expertise of industry-leading professionals, GNPC is committed to uncovering new oil and gas reserves within this vast expanse.


Successful Preliminary Operations

GNPC’s early forays into the Upper Voltaian sections of the Northern and Savannah regions have yielded promising results. The corporation has completed a substantial 1180 line kilometres of 2D seismic data acquisition, coupled with the collection of vital geochemical samples. These initial efforts have led to a string of leads, offering tentative but optimistic signs of significant oil and gas discoveries in commercial quantities. Should these promising leads materialize, the Voltaian basin could emerge as one of Ghana’s most prolific hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Shifting Focus to Onshore Operations

Having achieved notable success in offshore operations that have positively impacted Ghana’s economy, GNPC is redirecting a substantial portion of its attention to its frontier onshore project. The corporation’s next steps involve extending its exploratory activities southward, with a target of commencing seismic acquisition, geochemical sample collection, and interpretation in the Bono, Oti, Ashanti, and Eastern regions.


Embracing Environmentally Responsible Exploration

In an era marked by a global shift toward cleaner energy exploration methods, GNPC is unwavering in its commitment to employing enhanced and environmentally friendly technology. By striking a responsible balance between harnessing Ghana’s fossil fuel resources and preserving the environment, GNPC is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable energy exploration.

Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, emphasizes this approach, stating, “With a new global goal towards cleaner ways of exploring for energy resources, GNPC is motivated to leverage enhanced and environmentally friendly technology to strike a healthy balance to responsibly exploiting Ghana’s fossil fuel resources.”

Balancing Risk and Opportunity

While industry analysts applaud GNPC’s ambitious project, there is a palpable concern about the inherent risks associated with exploration activities. Studies have indicated that the worldwide success rates for inland hydrocarbon exploration commercially range from 30% to 40%. Nevertheless, GNPC remains resolute in its determination to become a technically proficient and commercially efficient independent Exploration and Production (E&P) operator by 2030, and the Voltaian Basin Project presents a pivotal opportunity to realize this goal.

A Promising Future for Ghana

O-A Danquah, GNPC’s CEO, asserts that Ghana stands to reap substantial benefits from the successful development of the Voltaian Basin. These include a significant boost in oil revenue, job creation, and substantial investments in the regions and communities within the Voltaian Production enclave, ultimately benefiting the entire nation.

Future Prospects

GNPC’s immediate plans involve completing 1040-line kilometres of seismic data acquisition in the current phase, focusing on the southern region of the basin. The corporation aims to finalize its activities by June 2024. The promise of discovering Ghana’s next hydrocarbon deposits for commercial production fuels GNPC’s unwavering commitment to the project.

Source: Yaw Ampomah (GNPC, Corporate Affairs)