The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has presented a cheque for $ 250,000 to the University of Ghana for the establishment of a Research Chair in Petroleum Geoscience at the Department of Earth Science.
The presentation of the cheque was part of terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University and the GNPC in June 2018, which allows the Corporation to commit an amount of $250,000 per annum for four academic years to support the Research Chair.
The four-year programme is to facilitate the sustainable development of Ghana’s hydrocarbon deposits, while providing a reference point for developing similar technical capacities in Africa.
Dr Kwame Amoah Baah Nuakoh, the General Manager of Sustainability, GNPC said the initiative was to strengthen petroleum Geoscience research and education capacity at the University to support the optimal exploration, delineation and development of the country’s hydrocarbons resources.
He said the Corporation had already established similar projects in three other Universities-Chair in Petroleum Commerce at the University of Cape Coast; Chair of Mining Engineering at the University of Mines and Technology; and a Chair of Petroleum Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Dr Nuakoh said the Corporation had commenced exploration works onshore (the Volta Basin), which covers about 40 per cent of Ghana landmarks.
He said feasibility studies had shown that the area was endowed with petroleum, hence, the need for exploration work; stating that it would be a major game changer if achieved.
He said the Corporation would continue to support the Universities to build synergies between academia and the industry to train petroleum geoscience professionals.
Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, said the scope of the Chair among others was the establishment of technical partnerships with leading universities and industry leaders within and beyond the African continent.
Prof Owusu assured Ghanaians of their commitment to exhibit a high sense of integrity for the programme to foster more collaborations in future.
He said there was a need for the country to invest in research as a serious business because no country developed without good quality research.
Prof Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo, the GNPC Research Chair in Petroleum Geoscience, Department of Earth Science, University of Ghana said the Chair would engage industry to establish a state-of-the-art research laboratory in Petroleum Geoscience at the University.
He said the Chair would use the support to train and retrain students to be technicians in the oil and gas sector and assured all to carry out systematic research to facilitate the sustainable development of the country’s hydrocarbons deposit.