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Industry Overview

Ghana’s Petroleum sector comprises the upstream and the downstream. The upstream activities include petroleum exploration and other related operations whereas the downstream activities consist of refinery, storage, transportation, distribution and retailing operations.

The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) refines crude oil imported into the country, except for consignments going to the Takoradi Thermal Power Plant for power production.

TOR’s maximum production capacity was 28,000 barrels of oil per day in 1990. A decade later, the production capacity had been expanded to 45,000 barrels per day to meet increasing demand.

Besides storage facilities at TOR, there are storage depots at Accra Plains, Mamiwater (near Akosombo, Eastern Region), Buipe (Northern Region) and at Takoradi (Western Region).

As a result of the total dependence on imported oil, the country maintains strategic stocks of petroleum products to minimize disruptions in economic activities in the event of external supply problems.

BOST manages strategic stocks and is expected to initially keep a strategic stock of three weeks of national demand for petroleum products which is expected to be increased to six weeks due to the insufficient storage capacity to cover six weeks of strategic stocks.

Petroleum products are transported from the oil refinery for storage in depots through:

  • Pipeline transport from Tema to Mami Water depot and Akosombo transit depot
  • ocean transfer using small marine vessels from Tema to Takoradi
  • fuel barges on the Volta lake from Akosombo to Buipe
  • Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) operated by the OMCs and private owners.

Secondary distribution of petroleum products is done by the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and private operators using mainly Bulk Road Vehicles. They obtain their supplies from TOR’s bulk storage depots.

The downstream sub-sector is being deregulated at present although there is still some degree of price regulation particularly on kerosene and LPG through cross-subsidization.

Source: Energy Commission, Strategic National Energy Plan 2006-2020(Annex 3), July 2006