Kevin Okyere, CEO, Springfield Group
Upstream development and deepwater exploration in Ghana drives sector growth
In this Global Platform video, Kevin Okyere, CEO of Springfield Group, talks about Ghana’s upstream sector and Springfield becoming the first independent African energy company to drill in deepwater. Recent advancements in upstream activities have created more employment opportunities in the local economy, and natural gas is set to play a huge role in the development of the country and Africa. As Ghana’s energy capacity continues to grow, it will soon be in the position to export electricity to neighbouring countries.
After analysing the new 3D broadband seismic in 2018 we embarked on securing a rig in 2019 and we drilled in, which was a very successful drilling campaign which led to us finding oil and gas in commercial quantities. Now Springfield, as the first homegrown African company to shoot seismic in deepwater, other Ghanaians have started by applying to get concessions for oil blocks in Ghana. But this goes beyond Ghana. This is basically for the entire continent. Even beyond the continent because it simply states that whatever you put your mind to and you put in the work you can achieve it. So a lot of people in Africa have the belief that these are areas that you don’t go, which is deepwater. What we have done is show that it can be done. So we believe this is motivating others to do better than what we did. We see that even the service companies are now looking at really investing in this sector. Ghana’s upstream industry is fairly young. It’s just a decade old. Everyone had been shying away from getting involved in exploration production – not to talk of being an operator of a deep offshore oil block. So I think this is now making everyone believe in their ambitions, and believe in their goals that they can play a role in this sector. Now that also creates a lot of employment for the Ghanaian economy. I believe that natural gas plays a huge role in the development of Ghana and Africa. Springfield is going to contribute to this by supplying gas to the Ghana market. Currently, Jubilee and ENI and TEN are all supplying gas to Ghana, which is playing a huge role in our energy needs by power plants picking them up and supplying it into the country. They are even looking at some landlocked countries, which we may be able to supply gas to. It is also going to contribute to industrialisation. Now if you look at the government’s plan of doing fertiliser plants, gas plays a huge role there as well. What is also very important is where the world is going with climate change, and we are working on stopping deforestation. Natural gas plays a huge role because you get LPG out of it, and the various gas policies that government has in place. It enables LPG to be assessable everywhere, which would then stop people from cutting down trees to burn them to charcoal for cooking purposes. So natural gas is a key fundamental need. Even if you’re looking at electric cars, the electricity that will be used to power the cars needs the fuel. And natural gas is a clean energy that brings the power plants to supply electricity to those cars. We are in a situation in which most of us have never been before. The global impact of this pandemic is really tremendous. However, projects which are still robust will still find ways and means of going ahead. We see a light at the end of the tunnel. We believe that we can come through this. These are times that bring out, obviously, great leaders and great innovations. If we are able to come together as a race and put our minds to finding a solution, first of all for saving lives, and secondly for protecting property and businesses, we will overcome this pandemic.