Over 3000 African elite interests in downstream oil and gas have met in Lagos, Nigeria for this year’s Oil Trading and Logistic Downstream Week.

Dubbed ‘Downstream – Renewed Opportunities’ it was aimed at providing the platform to promote business, policy, and stakeholders relationships in downstream petroleum markets across the continent.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, the Deputy Minister of Energy invited investors in the sub-region to take advantage of Ghana’s favorable petroleum market environment and invest in infrastructure such as oil jetties, pipeline and distribution infrastructure, refineries and gas processing plants, storage and loading gantries.

“Our unique geographical position, democratic stability and security require that we provide leadership in building an integrated infrastructure to serve the sub-regional petroleum industry.

“The National Petroleum Authority Act, passed in 2005, has also created a reliable legislative and regulatory regime that has delivered for the country a downstream industry, whose contribution to the economy has grown more than four-fold, with private players – both local and international – forming a major part of the industry” he extoled.

Dr. Amin Adam said it was government’s vision to ensure the downstream petroleum industry becomes a Petroleum hub in the sub-region. “The government of Ghana is currently developing a Downstream Petroleum Infrastructure Master plan, aimed at enhancing the pace of infrastructure sourcing with a regional context in mind” he added.

Touching on the need for shared use of infrastructure, the Deputy Minister of Energy said Africa has suffered infrastructure deficit ranging from inadequate and deplorable states of infrastructures such as ports, jetties and tank farms which has increased cost of importing products.

He said it was refreshing to note the major $12 billion investment in a 650 thousand barrel per day refinery development in Nigeria which could integrate the downstream industries, lower cost of business and reduce the prices of petroleum products across the sub-region.

As a result of recent petroleum related explosions in Ghana, he encouraged industry players to take the bold step of formulating industry safety standards through industry associations “and peer review each other and where necessary delist your peers who are not keeping up with standards”.

“This will not only complement the role of our regulators but will embolden them to take decisive disciplinary actions against offending industry players based on industry recommendations” he recommended.

Mr. Alhassan Tampuli, Chief Executive Officer of NPA on his part said Ghana had commenced the importation of 50ppm sulphur fuels since August, 2017. He encouraged Nigeria who is a significant consumer in the sub region to finalize internal discussions and make the move to low sulphur fuels. This will ensure that the fuels consumed by the sub-region are cleaner and environmentally friendly.

Dr. Jackson Ebiuwairo Gaius-Obaseki, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BRASS Liquefied Natural Gas Co. Ltd who doubled as the Chairperson was hopeful the conference would offer the platform for collaboration across the sub-region.