CHALLENGES OF OIL
DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA
CHALLENGES OF OIL
DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA
JONATHAN A. ALLOTEY
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
P. O. BOX M.326
TEL : 662693
• The national petroleum organization, Ghana
National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and her
partners announced in June 2007, the discovery
of light crude oil in commercial quantities in the
offshore waters of Ghana’s continental shelf –
named the Jubilee Field.
• Since the initial discoveries, appraisal work
conducted has estimated core reserves of oil at
June 2008 of about one billion barrels by with
substantial associated natural gas reserves.
The Ghanaian Coastline
• The discovery raises a number of concerns which
– the environmental impact of the development of the
resources due to problems associated with petroleum
development in other countries.
• A legitimate question which requires an answer
– How will Ghana develop and manage its petroleum
resources and revenue streams in a transparent and
environmentally responsible manner for the benefit of
Ghanaians now and in the future?.
• There are negative impacts on ecosystems and
Livelihoods at all stages of petroleum development –
prospecting, exploitation, and transport from offshore
production, maritime traffic, and terrestrial installation.
• Direct impacts from project activities include national
habitat fragmentation, pollution and accidents.
• Indirect Impacts are triggered by projects presence
include migration, destabilization of local economic,
insecurity, opening access for other developments,
conflicts with other activities, conflicts between
companies and governments
• Negative impacts on environment may also impact people
through lost of livelihoods of economic opportunities,
communication, constraints, poverty increase and social
Negative long term impacts include:
• Depletion of other sectors (fisheries, tourism, agriculture--)
• Pollution (seas, mangroves, beaches…)
• Reduction of food security
• Waste of natural and economic resources
Fish Landing Site - Djomba
Key Challenges and Issues
Weak institutional capacity to manage the environmental, health
and safety challenges posed by the petroleum sector.
• Weak compliance and enforcement mechanism.
• Absence of existing baseline data both offshore and onshore.
• Absence of proper mechanisms for coordination and
monitoring of petroleum related and induced activities.
• Absence of logistics and capacity in managing oil and chemical
• Absence of systems for the disposal of hazardous wastes.
• Inadequate data infrastructure to ensure timely information
access an quick decision making.
• Lack of capacity in petroleum sector related health and safety
• Inadequate sanitation systems.
• Inadequate health management system
• Inadequate health personnel
• Inadequate standards and regulations
• Inadequate navigational aids
• Management of high public expectations and responsibility of industry
• Weak civil society organizations to play advocacy role on behalf of
• Absence of appropriate compensation regime for legitimately affected
operation of the petroleum industry.
• Potential conflict between petroleum operations and other sectors, eg.
fisheries, marine, transport etc.
• Inadequate capacity to deal with transboundary issues.
• Inadequate human resource due to high staff turnovers and exodus of
professionals in these areas
Measures to Address Concerns
• Since the announcement of the discovery, a number of
measures has been taken to meet the changes in the
development of oil and gas resources:
• Holding a national forum
• Formulation of Fundamental Petroleum Policy for Ghana
• Preparation of Ghana Petroleum Development Master Plan.
The plan is to provide a road map for future development
of oil, upstream gas, transportation and processing, proper
generation and transmission and petrochemicals.
• All these measures cover environmental aspects of
• The National Forum discussed potential problems and solutions. The
environmental management of oil development was one of the issues
• The Fundament Petroleum Policy for Ghana, states that:
• “Government shall promote sound and sustainable environmental
practices in the management of petroleum operators and ensure
compliance with national health and safety regulations and standards”.
• The policy expects all players in the oil industry to recognize that
• “Achieving excellence in environmental management, health and safety,
and relating well with community in which it operates not only
contributes to business results by safeguarding people and conserving
resources, but also serves as a useful indicator of effective management
Preparation of Draft Master Plan
The environmental component of the plan includes
framework for mitigation, management, monitoring
and institutional measures during petroleum resource
• Long Term Vision
The environment, health and safety and community
issues component envisions ‘a petroleum sector that
contributes to the present and future needs of the
Ghanaian, while keeping a balance between economic
development, environmental protection, social
responsibility and safe and good conditions of work’.
To mainstream environmental management, health and
safety and communities into the petroleum sector operations.
• The Master Plan is intended to provide the framework for
rationally and systematic allocation of resources to address the
potential impacts of the development of petroleum resources
on the population and the environment.
– One important component of the master plan is on
environmental management, health and safety and
community issues which are considered an integral part of
the management of the petroleum resources of Ghana.
– This component of the plan aims to minimize adverse
environmental health and safety and social impacts of the
petroleum resources development and maximize benefits to
Ghanaians and other key stakeholders.
International Conventions and Agreements
Ghana is signatory to a number of United Nations and
Regional Cooperation Conventions and multi-lateral
agreements which will help in managing environmental
Some of these conventions include:
• International Convention for Prevention of Pollution of the
Sea by Oil London, 1954 (as amended in 1962 and 1969).
• Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living
Resources of the Seas, Geneva, 1958.
• Convention on the Continental Shelf, Geneva 1958
• International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic
Tunas, Rio de Janeiro, 1966.
• International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High
Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, Brussels, 1969
• Convention on Wetlands of International Imperative
Especially as Water fowl Habitat, Ramsar, 1971.
• International Convention on the Establishment of an
International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution
Damage, Brussels 1971 and the 1976 Protocol.
• International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution
from ships and Protocl (MARPOL 73/78)
• Protocol concerning cooperation in combating Pollution in
cases of Emergency, Abidjan, 1981.
• United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Montego
• Convention for cooperation in the Protection and
Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the
West and Central African Region, Abidjan 1981.
National Policies and Legislation
National Environment Policy
• The environmental impacts of petroleum development can be
handled within the framework of the National Environmental
Policy (NEP) which has the ultimate aim :
– “To ensure sound management of the environment and
the avoidance of exploitation of resources in ways that
may result in irreparable damage to the environment”
Some of the principles relevant in this regard are :
•Use of most cost-effective means to achieve
•Use of incentives in addition to regulatory measures.
•Delegation of decision-making and action to the most
appropriate level of government.
• Polluters pays for the cost of preventing and
eliminating pollution and nuisances caused by him.
• Public participation in environmental decision-
• International cooperation.
The Policy puts emphasis on prevention and
sustainable development through objectives which
seek to :
• Maintain ecosystems and ecological processes
essential for the functional of the biosphere.
• Adequately protect humans, animals and plants,
their biological communities and habitats against
harmful impacts and destructive practices and
preserve biological diversity.
• Guide development in accordance with quality
requirements to prevent, reduce and as far as
possible, eliminate pollution and nuisance.
• Ensure sound management of national resources and
• Integrate environmental considerations in sectoral,
structural and socio-economic planning at the
national, regional, district and grassroots levels.
Legislative and Regulatory Framework
• The Environmental Protection Agency Act 1994, Act
490 and the Environmental Assessment Regulations
1999, LI 1652 provides the legal and regulatory
mechanisms for ensuring adequate safeguards are
incorporated into planning and development of any
activity that has the potential to cause significant
• The Environmental Protection Agency is primarily
responsible for regulating the environment and
ensuring the implementation of Government policies
on the environment. The functions of the Agency as
stipulated in Act 490 include:
• Issues environmental permits and pollution
• Prescribe environment standards and
• Ensure compliance with any laid down
environmental impact assessment
• Develop a comprehensive database on the
• Co-ordinate with relevant institutions.
• Monitoring and compliance enforcement
under Environmental Assessment
• Under the Environmental Assessment
Regulations LI 1652, environmental impact
assessment (EIA) is required for all new
undertakings (project level). For which a
permit is issued prior to commencement for
oil and gas development experience will be
drawn from handling major projects in mining,
energy and transportation.
• A number of existing environmental
management tools applied at different phases
of project development:
• Strategic Environmental Assessment is applied to policies plans and
programmes to mainstream environmental issues to ensure sustainable
• Project Development Phase.
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Project Operations Phase
• Environmental Management Plans
• Environmental Monitoring Plans
• Environmental Performance Rating Disclosure (Akoben Scheme)
• Oil Spill Contingency Plans
• Project Closure
• Decommissioning and Closure Plans
• Reclamation Bonds (for extractive industries)
National Oil Spill Response Systems
(National Spill Contingency Plan)
• The Agency realizing the susceptibility of the country to the
risk of oil spill due to the transport of oil from surrounding
countries to Europe, initiated measures in 1986 to develop
a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan. The Plan provides the
framework for coordination of an integrated response,
definition responsibilities, reporting and alerting
procedures and means of communication, training and
exercises, equipment etc.
• Environmental Sensitivity Map of the Coastline of Ghana.
The Agency has developed environmental sensitivity
indices along the coast of Ghana. This will help in
determination of action required in the event of oil an
Environmental Sensitivity Maps
• GIS Based
• Covers the Whole Coastline
• 96 Maps in the Atlas
• Main Features & Ranking
– Coast type
A Very High Risk Area
Low Risk Area
High Risk Area – Turtle Nesting Site
• To complement and augment the limitations of the
current environmental framework and management
tools, the following is required.
• Development of petroleum industry specific
environmental protection guidelines and appropriate
regulatory infrastructure, including monitoring
equipments, compliance enforcement networks and
also a sanctions regime.
• Development of national emergency response
capacity for spills, blowers Explosions, fires, natural
Way Forward cont’d
• Development of proper consultations and
partnerships with local communities in relation to
proper environmental management and proper
settlement development planning to accommodate
requirements and changes induced by the petroleum
• Support the environmental management framework
in terms of capacity building equipments standards,
management system sanctions and enforcement,
reviews and permitting.
• Decommissioning and rehabilitation and after care
guidelines and agreements.
• Conduct of strategic environmental assessments of
the oil industry
• Fundamental Petroleum Policy for Ghana, June 2008
• Task Team on Environmental Management. Health and Safety and Community
Issues. October 2008 – Final Draft of Environmental Management, Health and
Safety and Community Issues Component of the Ghana Petroleum Development
• Garreau J. – 2008 – ‘Oil and Gas Environmental Management: Towards a Balanced
‘People, Plant, Profit Approach’ – Paper prepared at Ghana national Forum on Oil
and Gas 25-29 February 2008.
• Environmental Protection Agency Act, Act 490 1994 Part I
• Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 – LI 1652
• Allotey J.A. 2008 – Application of Ghana’s Environmental Policies and Regulations
to Oil and Gas Development. Paper presented at the Ghana National Forum on Oil
and Gas, 25-29 February 2008