This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/27/2017

Efforts to commercialize Ghana’s offshore hydrocarbon reserves go back more than 25 years to the establishment of the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC). Attempts by GNPC to independently assess and take advantage of oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Guinea met with limited success. After more than a decade of unsuccessful exploration, GNPC sought out international partners to assist in their efforts. The result was the 2007 discovery by Dallas-based Kosmos of significant deep water oil and gas reserves in what is now called the Jubilee Field, 60 km offshore. Production began in 2010 and is managed by Tullow, Kosmos and Anadarko in partnership with GNPC. Total production currently amounts to approximately 100,000 barrels of oil and 80 Mscf/d of natural gas (thousand standard cubic feet a day).  Ghana’s parliament just passed extensive amendments to its Petroleum Revenue Management Act and the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill which updates a 1984 petroleum law and seeks to make the management of Ghana’s petroleum resources more transparent.  Many oil and gas sector stakeholders have publicly expressed their support for the new legislation.  However, there are still a few elements that could cause concern for oil and gas companies seeking to do business in Ghana.  The bill, for example, gives the Minister of Petroleum the power to reject a petroleum contract, even after a tender process has been concluded.

In addition to the sole active field – Jubilee – Ghana’s Petroleum Commission has allocated rights to develop 16 additional fields. Hydrocarbon production in the Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme (TEN) oil field began in August 2016 and it has an estimated reserve of 300 million barrels of oil and gas to be produced and processed over the next 20 years.   Rome-based Eni has begun development of the Sankofa field in 2016 with production potentially beginning as early as 2018. New York-based Hess Oil also has rights to develop offshore acreage; their development plans are currently being established.

A court case is currently pending at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), to resolve a border dispute between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire (CDI).  A final decision on the border is expected from ITLOS in late 2017 or early 2018.

With an oil sector that is in effect less than 10 years old, Ghana has limited domestic capacity to serve the multinational oil companies that are commercializing the offshore petroleum reserves. Domestic companies have very limited experience in providing technical services to the offshore operators; onshore services are somewhat more mature but still significantly under-developed. Nevertheless the Government of Ghana has recently established local content requirements that mandate minimum levels of participation by local companies. For some portions of the oil and gas sector, at least 10% of equity will have to be held by domestic Ghanaian firms.  Power Africa has also successfully aided the expansion of the Ghanaian gas sector by establishing partial risk guarantees, investment lending, and technical assistance that have been key to developing promising natural gas fields.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

There is an immediate need for oil and gas service firms that are able to partner with indigenous Ghanaian companies to support the offshore activities of the international oil companies. Domestic Ghanaian companies do not have the ability to provide a broad range of services despite local content requirements mandating a minimum level of local participation. Joint-venture firms with foreign partners contributing technology and know-how to a partnership with a reliable local company will be highly sought-after.


In addition to providing equipment and services directly to the exploration and production companies, training programs to increase the capacity of Ghanaian firms to provide these services are likely to be highly successful.
For additional information on current opportunities, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service Ghana.

Web Resources

Ghana Petroleum Commission:
Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC)
Ghana National Petroleum Authority
Ghana Oil Company
Ghana Revenue Authority
Ghana Standards Authority

Total Economy
$US thousands2014201520162017 (Estimated)
Total Market Size4.852.172.22.2
Total Exports37.736.531.860
Total Imports4.852.172.22.2
Local Production37.338.931.860
Imports from the U.S.0000
All local crude oil production is exported. Differences between local production and Total Exports is a given year are due to inventory.  All crude oil for local consumption is imported.  Hence the match between Total Market size and Total import

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Data Sources: Statistical data are unofficial estimates from trade sources and industry.

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Ghana Oil and Gas Trade Development and Promotion