Growing activity on the Ghanaian black market for fuels is threatening 4,000 jobs as retail stations’ sales fall dramatically, local media report. The head of the country’s Association of Oil Marketing Companies said some fuel stations in the northern part of the country have already started letting employees go.
“The implication of this black market on the OMC is that we can’t meet over big overheads and if this continue, then we would have no option than to lay people off…our overheads are big so if we don’t make the volumes as it is now when some people are even making one-tenth of the volumes, we have no choice than to lay people off…,” the official said, as quoted by local Pulse.
According to him, some black market fuel dealers transfer fuel from ship to ship in the open sea to avoid paying taxes for it while others claim to be exporting it to Ghana’s neighbors and then selling it locally. There are even cases of truck drivers loading fuel on vehicles with foreign number plates only to then sell it by the gallon.
Ghana is a relative newcomer on the oil scene, but a very promising one. The biggest oil project in the country to date is Jubilee, with reserves estimated at 1.2 billion barrels of crude and operated by Tullow Oil. The UK-based company’s second large project in the country is the TEN field, a mouthwatering development with 240 million barrels of oil reserves, and 60 million barrels of associated gas.
There are only three fields in Ghana that are already producing, out of 21 license blocks. Of these, 14 are in ultra deep waters, which makes their development costlier, and five are in shallow waters. Eight of these blocks were discovered over the last five years and there may be more coming: Exxon, Eni, and Anadarko, also have a presence in Ghana.By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com