The Russian government has extended a scholarship package to 10 Ghanaians to be trained in value chain management in the quest to achieve 90 per cent local content in the oil and gas industry by 2020.

An additional 200 graduate students drawn from tertiary institutions are to be awarded government scholarships on local content policy for the industry.

They were selected after successfully passing an interview session pending government scholarships for training in various areas to build their capacities in readiness for the boom in the oil and gas industry.

Confirming this to the Daily Graphic in Accra, a Deputy Minister of Energy, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, said it was the vision of the government to ensure 90 per cent Ghanaian participation in the exploitation of the new resource in the next decade.

Explaining the basis for the selection of the graduates who hold various educational qualifications, the Deputy Minister said the selection, was based on a careful assessment of applications, noting that the backgrounds of the applicants were carefully scrutinised before being considered for the selection.

He stated that the beneficiaries were expected to be trained in areas bordering on electrical and engineering techniques, among other technical oil-related fields.

Alhaji Fuseini said oil producing countries such as Norway domesticated their oil industries through capacity building long before the discovery of the resource, a strategy which had paid off today, with majority of the citizenry operating in the sector, and cited Angola for doing equally well by involving its nationals in the operations of the sector.

“As a new oil and gas producing country, it is in our interest to take a cue from these countries so that we reap maximum benefits from the resource,” he remarked.

Touching on the need for the country to institute measures to prevent any revenue leaks from the sector, the Deputy Minister stressed the need for the metering system to be safeguarded in order to accurately monitor the amount of crude that would be lifted from the Jubilee Field.

Describing the metering system as a prerequisite for guarding against stealing of the oil by interested partners, Alhaji Fuseini said it was imperative for the metering system to be set in cubic feet, which is the international standard, to avoid confusion over keeping accurate accounts of exported crude.

In a related development, an international oil and gas company is developing a metering system to take record of how much of the country’s offshore crude oil is tapped.

The company, KROHNE, has begun talks with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) on the possible acquisition and specification of the meters.

The metering system is expected to ensure the pumping of the right amount of crude oil to contribute to the prevention of revenue losses to the state.

The Africa Manager of the company, Mr Jean-Francois Rolin, in an interview, told the Daily Graphic that his outfit had a system that would calibrate the meters to ensure that the crude oil pumping machines worked efficiently and prevented any losses.

Source: Daily Graphic