Oil stimulating the economy of Ghana, IMF says

Ghana emerging as a West African bright spot with two oil fields on pace to produce 160,000 bpd.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  April 14, 2017 at 6:44 AM
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April 14 (UPI) -- The economic prospects for emerging West African oil player Ghana are encouraging given the large increase in production, the International Monetary Fund said.

Ghana's expanding oil and gas prospects are expected to spur economic growth. British energy company Tullow Oil is working to develop the Jubilee field off the nation's coast. Considered one of the larger fields in the region, the company expects to produce about 80,300 barrels of oil per day on average once in full swing. Another offshore field, Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme, should be able to produce up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak.

A report from the IMF said the economic prospects for the Ghanaian economy in 2017 are, in general, encouraging.

"Overall GDP growth is expected at about 6 percent in 2017, reflecting a strong increase in oil production," the IMF said. "Inflation is on a declining trend and projected to fall to the upper bound of the Bank of Ghana's target by year-end."

Foreign exchange flows to banks means the Ghanaian government could add up to $700 million to net reserves this year, the largest influx since oil production started in the country in 2011.

In February, the IMF warned the country's fiscal deficit was higher than expected when measured against gross domestic product. The deviation was attributed to "poor oil and non-oil revenue performance and large expenditure overruns."

In its latest assessment, the IMF said Ghana still faces significant economic challenges. The country ran an 8.7 percent budget deficit when measured against GDP and the country is in large part dependant on foreign investors to finance its needs.

Last week, Ghana's president said the country has potential, praising emerging and evolving financial support from the World Bank. In late March, French engineering company TechnipFMC said it secured a contract to help develop the Sankofa natural gas field offshore Ghana, a field backed by the bank.

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