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Francis Coquelin

Ghana becomes the worlds latest oil producing nation.

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The West African nation of Ghana has begun to pump its first commercial oil after the discovery of the offshore Jubilee Field three years ago.

President John Atta Mills turned on the valve at an offshore platform.

A consortium led by UK-based Tullow Oil hopes to produce 55,000 barrels per day, increasing to 120,000 barrels in six months.

Ghana, one of Africa's most stable countries, is expected to earn $400m (£254m) in the first year.

Wearing safety gear and blue overalls, the president opened the valve in a televised ceremony some 60km (40 miles) off the coast from the town of Takoradi, Reuters news agency reports.

The discovery of oil off Ghana's coast has raised questions about whether Ghana can escape the "resource curse", where discoveries of valuable commodities fuel conflict and corruption instead of funding development.

Analysts have raised concerns about the lack of laws to manage oil revenue and the lack of an independent regulator for the sector.

The government has said it is working to get an oil bill passed.

The government has forecast that the oil will boost Ghana's economic growth rate from 5% this year to as much as 12% next year.

Production is eventually expected to bring in $1bn a year.

The Jubilee Field is estimated to hold 1.5bn barrels of oil. A second offshore field was discovered in September that is believed to hold another 1.4bn barrels.

The fields are some of the largest oil deposits found in recent years.

Learning from mistakes

Observers say militant insurgency like that in nearby Nigeria's Niger Delta is unlikely as long as the government manages expectations.

"Transparency to population is very important," said Stephen Hayes, head of the Corporate Council on Africa - a group of some 180 mainly US firms that invest in Africa.

"They also have a fairly transparent society compared to other countries dealing in oil - so they've got a better opportunity to get it right," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa.

He says lessons can be learnt from others' mistakes and points out that Ghana's economy is more diversified than other oil-producing countries in Africa. It earns billions from cocoa and gold.

"The oil revenues expected only represents 6% of their economy - compare that to Nigeria where oil revenue represents 92% of the economy or Angola where it's almost 100%," he said.

"It indicates they won't be dependent on oil revenue... and are in a far better position to manage it more wisely."

The BBC's David Amanor in the capital, Accra, says there a positive mood about the pumping of the country's first oil - and plenty of advice about how the revenue should be spent.

"I'm very much excited because maybe that will be able to solve some of problems for us," a lottery-ticket seller said.

"The first area should be education, secondly agriculture and thirdly health."

Another man said the move was a blessing for him and the country.

"It's going to benefit me so I'm really excited. I've completed school but I've not found any work to do - I hope oil will help me to get a job."

Our reporter says Ghana also has a growing civil society community which is anxious to ensure environmental and development considerations are given a voice in the area where the oil is being bumped.

"A lot of the fishermen are now moving away because of the oil rig - they cannot fish within a certain parameter," says Adwoa Bame from the Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment group.

"The men go out and bring the fish to the fishmongers, who are normally women," she told the BBC.

"So we need to look at how we can develop programmes that can sustain these communities in terms of livelihoods."

Analysis

David Amanor BBC News, Accra

It is a momentous day for Ghana - barely three years after that first vial of oil was presented to former President John Kufour.

Hopes are high, tempered by a fair amount of realism - most people seem to understand oil production is unlikely in itself to bring about lower fuel prices and that it will take time for real benefits to accrue.

The government is currently negotiating huge multi-billion dollar loans for infrastructure developments, using oil as collateral, which has met with some stiff opposition from the parliamentary minority and other civil society groups. "We've looked at the experiences of other countries and it has not been positive," says Mohammed Amin Adam of campaign group Publish What You Pay.

Other concerns are focussed on how the oil money is spent rather than when. "Politicians' decisions tend to be very short-term and short-sighted," says Kofi Bentil of Ghanaian think-tank Imani.

world's*

May we succeed where others failed. :Y:

p.s. afgoon and yuri can suck their mum's in advance

1

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What?!?!

Man getting Ghana money from now on yeh! Say nutt'n!!

2

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With oil, comes problems.

Bel'eeee that.

But I hope Ghana can set an example to other African nations with this resource.

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Means nothing as there are no Ghanians with the intelligence to use the oil to it's capacity.

-6

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Props to Ghana.

SMH @ Nigeria.

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With oil, comes problems.

Bel'eeee that.

But I hope Ghana can set an example to other African nations with this resource.

Couldn't have said it better.

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i wanna know if them Chinese found anything in that survey of Uganda

but i wont lie im f*ck*ng worried, a Gulf of Mexico type disaster would just be f*cked, cos u know these man wont resolve it in the same manner BP did

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Gulf of Mexico disaster was like pissing in the sea in comparison to the sh*t that gets spilt in the Niger Delta.

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Means nothing as there are no Ghanians with the intelligence to use the oil to it's capacity.

You know nothing

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Means nothing as there are no Ghanians with the intelligence to use the oil to it's capacity.

You know nothing

Tulse invented a perpetual mition machine, didnt you know?

he's way past oil

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lmaooo

i read that was al ready to post

then saw your last commment

anyway i thought u were white gael clichy u post like a bit of coon if ur from ghana... although sayin that i always found west aff christians a bit offkey

good luck to ghana i respect their economy and their stability... i for one however dont see it lasting when the oil money starts dripping from ashy knuckles into officials and police pockets

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What?!?!

Man getting Ghana money from now on yeh! Say nutt'n!!

aye! :lol:

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This will be the end of us. The corruption in Ghana has not been decreasing in the past few years but rising steadily and with this much money it's going to be chaos.

I pray that I'm wrong but I doubt it.

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Ain't this old news?

/

Ice cold supermalt, hot jollof

Bitch in the kitchen cooking with no top....

WE GET GHANAIAN MONEY AYYYEE

WE GET GHANAIAN NONEY AYYYYYYYEEEE

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knowing ghana they'll probably get their oil tested and comes back as dirty water or something

-4

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Ain't this old news?

Found it years ago but only started pumping today.

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even with the corruption oil has done a lot for algeria, helped with the economy, new roads and infrastructure, funding sport, hopefully can do the same for ghana.

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Swear West Africa on the whole is on the up and up.

They found numerous oil deposits in Sierra Leone a few months back.

Didn't get no media coverage though.....

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Ain't this old news?

Found it years ago but only started pumping today.

Oh

Good look

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west africa on the rise.

stand up my brothers

*Slowly and slyly stands up at the back*

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Ain't this old news?

Found it years ago but only started pumping today.

Working on the ol' 'black people time', eh?!

:D

:mellow:

What?

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