Making an E&P/Fisheries Management Plan Work in Ghana With Multiple Stakeholders

Topics: Environment Offshore
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Ghana’s fishers and coastal communities have raised concerns over the effects of offshore oil exploration and production relating to the giant Jubilee field. In 2014, the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency initiated an independent study of marine conditions as a key step forward, with the endorsement of the Ministry of Fisheries. The study included extensive participation from fishing groups, oil companies, government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and other interested parties, and produced a number of recommendations. This paper describes the process and results of the multistakeholder approach to solving marine-zone conflicts.

Background

Following the discovery of the Jubilee field in 2007, the rapid development and launch of the offshore commercial oil production have attracted major oil and gas companies, with huge capital injection into the national ­economy as well as related sorely needed social investments and developments in communities of the Western Region and other sectors.

Offshore-resource development has raised expectations and has fueled speculation and confusion about the actual environmental effects of the oil and gas activities. A resulting backlash, including blame of oil and gas activities for myriad problems associated with fishing and the marine environment—such as declining fisheries and poor landings, frequent beaching of whales, algae nuisance, presence of tar balls, and contamination of fish—indicated a clear need for scientific study and research-based action to reveal the actual environmental situation and trends.

Independent Study

An independent study was commissioned in 2014 by Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency and Kosmos Energy Ghana to explore stakeholders’ environmental concerns and evaluate the extent to which marine environmental challenges could be linked to or mitigated by oil and gas industry action. The study focused on six major themes:

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 183599, “Making an E&P/Fisheries Management Plan Work in Ghana—A Multistakeholder Approach to Implementation,” by Kwame Boakye-Agyei, SPE, Kosmos Energy; Yaw Amoyaw-Osei, Centre for Environment and Health Research and Training; and Andrew Buchman, SPE, Acorn International, prepared for the 2016 SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility, Stavanger, 11–13 April. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Making an E&P/Fisheries Management Plan Work in Ghana With Multiple Stakeholders

15 July 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 8