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“Putting Ghana first” - Tullow’s local content success story

Opinion

2 months ago
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It is always a sight for sore eyes on the offshore assets of Tullow Ghana, in West Africa.
Beyond the impressive facilities on the FPSOs that produce oil and gas, the scene that is most fascinating is the strong commitment to local talent and expertise in action. What is often noticeable is that amidst the varying sounds of large-scale equipment and the lingering breeze from the ocean, Ghanaian workers stand shoulder to shoulder with their international counterparts, united in their pursuit of excellence.

As the global demand for energy continues to rise, the role of multinational corporations in shaping the future of oil and gas production cannot be overstated. In Ghana, the emergence of the oil boom close to two decades ago presented both opportunities and challenges. Amidst all these, Tullow Ghana, main operator of the Jubilee and TEN fields, emerged as a pioneer in promoting local content development, in line with the demands of the petroleum agreement with its host nation.

Since 2007, Tullow Ghana Limited recognised that sustainable development must match community engagement and empowerment. This led to an active implementation of a solid local content strategy that aimed to maximize the participation of Ghanaians in the upstream sector. Today, this success story continues to be told in transformative ways.

For example, more than 70% of Tullow’s workforce for its Ghana operations are locals with 32% ($202m) of the total value of contracts ($619m) awarded in 2023 going to indigenous entities (a 4% increase from 2022). Additionally, $317m worth of contracts were awarded to Joint-Venture companies (part Ghanaian and part foreign ownership) that same year.

Over the past decade, Tullow has awarded contracts worth $10.7 billion to businesses with significant local participation in the sector.

And that is not all: The company delivered six training workshops through the Petroleum Commission/Tullow Business Academy Partnership initiative last year, strengthening its ties with key external stakeholders. A strong commitment to transparency and collaboration was demonstrated through the successful organisation of four Supplier Market Day events, and the completion of five supplier training programmes across the country. A significant milestone in Tullow’s commitment to ethical practices also reflected in the training of 140 suppliers late last year on the importance of safeguarding human rights within the supply chain sector,

“Our commitment to local content reflects the way we do business in Ghana. Since inception, Tullow and its partners have delivered close to $7bn in revenues to the Ghana government and invested close to $20bn in the oil and gas sector. Given a consistent enabling environment and respect for sanctity of contracts and agreements by our host nation, more can be done to make this country an energy sector leader in West Africa,” said Managing Director, Wissam Al-Monthiry.

Tullow Ghana’s intent extends beyond using only local resources, it also strives to build local capability through education, knowledge, and skills transfer. This ensures that the benefits of natural resource development are enjoyed by local communities. In the key parts of Ghana, especially the Western region where its major operations are, Tullow continues to support the local communities through educational infrastructure for secondary schools, scholarships for disadvantaged students and livelihood programmes for the fisherfolk. It is currently investing over $10m in educational infrastructure in key regions in Ghana; making dreams come true for the people.

Let’s zoom in on Tullow’s recent Jubilee South-East (JSE) Project as another example. This project expanded oil production capacity from 70,000 to 100,000 barrels-per-day in the Greater Jubilee Field. During the project, it became evident that a local company, Orsam Energies (with a 90% Ghanaian workforce), successfully fabricated one of the world's most complicated subsea equipment for the project at its fabrication yard in Takoradi; a triumph for local capacity development.

Sometime in 2021 as well, Tullow, in true local content fashion, supported and enabled the delivery of Ghana’s first ever wholly-owned sea vessel - the MV Flat Confidence - which currently supports two FPSO (Floating Production Storage Offloading) assets offshore Ghana. Tullow’s leadership in awarding a contract to Flat C Marine Services – the owners of the Ghanaian-owned vessel - highlighted the potential of local businesses to thrive in the oil and gas sector, when given the right support.

As Ghana continues to navigate the complexities of oil and gas production, the leadership demonstrated by Tullow Ghana Limited in local content development is a blueprint for other industry players to emulate. By making Ghanaians the priority in its operations, Tullow has laid the foundation for a more inclusive and sustainable future. There is more to come.                          

source: Tullow