By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is undertaking a process for acquiring images of underground geological structures to determine whether the Voltaian Basin area contain oil and gas.
As part of the process, the GNPC engaged about 23 metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies (MMDAs) which are located within the area where the Voltaian Basin covers.
The exercise by the GNPC was part of processes towards using a scientific process to acquire information about the structure of rocks in the area (2D Seismic Data acquisition).
The Voltaian Basin is said to be the largest onshore area of the country with rocks that have the characteristics of those that produce oil and gas.
A statement from GNPC stated that the engagements, which started in the Mion District in the Northern Region, had a GNPC team briefing the communities about the scope of the upcoming project, processes involved, its potential impact as well as mitigation options available to address them.
The team which was made up of the Petroleum Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and security agencies briefed the communities also on plans and processes in place for computing and paying compensation where applicable.
The other districts the GNPC team covered were West Mamprusi, Savelugu-Nantom, Nanomba-South, Nanomba North, Yendi Municipal, East Mamprusi, Mamprugu-Moaduri, Gbunkprugu-Nyonyong, Tamale Metro, Karaga, Gushiegu, Central Gonja and East Gonja, all in the Northern region.
The rest were Pru, Sene East, Kintampo and Atebubu-Amantin, in Brong-Ahafo region; Agogo, Ejura-Sekyidumase, and Sekyere Central in the Ashanti Region; as well as Afram Plains North and South districts in the Eastern region.
Stakeholders that participated in the community engagements included: Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and their Co-ordinating Directors.
Others are land and property owners, family and clan heads, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the various areas. Community leaders, including traditional rulers, and assemblymen in those areas also participated in the public hearings. The concerns of the communities were also noted for redress.
The six-week public community engagement by the GNPC team was led by the Mr. Alexander Mould, the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GNPC.
“We are committed to working in partnership with the people in the communities where we operate. Therefore we deemed engaging these communities important to take on board their concerns, and assuring them of our commitment to addressing them,” Mr. Mould stated. Mr. Mould appealed to the stakeholders to lend support to this national course.
The community engagement followed a national event held by GNPC in Accra about five months ago with over 50 participants from stakeholder agencies, including regulatory bodies in attendance.
The Voltaian Basin is the inland and largest but least-explored of the country’s four sedimentary basins, measuring 103,600 sq. km (covers about 40% of Ghana’s landmass). GNPC has plans to gather seismic data to determine the petroleum potential of the basin.