Ghana Oil Begins Pumping

Source:

"The West African nation has begun to pump its first commercial oil."

The West African nation of Ghana has begun to pump its first commercial oil after the discovery of the offshore Jubilee Field three years ago.

A consortium led by UK-based Tullow Oil hopes to produce 55,000 barrels per day, increasing to 120,000 barrels in six months.

Ghana, one of Africa's most stable countries, is expected to earn $400M in the first year.

Wearing safety gear and blue overalls, the president opened the valve in a televised ceremony some 40 miles off the coast from the town of Takoradi, Reuters news agency reports.

The discovery of oil off Ghana's coast has raised questions about whether Ghana can escape the "resource curse," where discoveries of valuable commodities fuel conflict and corruption instead of funding development.

Analysts have raised concerns about the lack of laws to manage oil revenue and the lack of an independent regulator for the sector.

The government has said it is working to get an oil bill passed.

The government has forecast that the oil will boost Ghana's economic growth rate from 5% this year to as much as 12% next year.

Production is eventually expected to bring in $1B per year.

The Jubilee Field is estimated to hold 1.5B barrels of oil. A second offshore field was discovered in September that is believed to hold another 1.4B barrels.

The fields are some of the largest oil deposits found in recent years.

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