He said gas had more benefits than oil with regard to their development potential.
Mr Tsikata said this at the 2nd National Insurance Forum which was organised by Star Assurance.
“The investments opportunities related to the development of natural gas tend to be of less interest to international oil companies who are more interested in moving the produced oil into the international market. As such, gas represents a significant area of opportunity for the country to take advantage of, especially at this period where the international oil companies are cutting down on budget and not venturing into new projects due to the unstable fuel prices,” he said.
“With the cost of materials, equipments, and production in the industry coming down due to the reduction of oil prices, it is up to us to take advantage and accelerate our gas development,” he added.
Taking advantage of low oil prices
Mr Tsikata also urged the country not to think about the loss of revenue due to the down turn of oil prices on the international market alone but also think about the cut down of expenditures.
“Ghana also imports petroleum products and as such, we are also beneficiaries of the downturn of the oil prices so we should focus on how to benefit from the importation of our petroleum products.
Mr Tsikata also stated that the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) must be empowered to insist on lower tariffs rather than higher ones.
He said Ghanaians should concern themselves with securing efficiency in power distribution and management and not which private firm takes over the distribution chain of the power distributor in the impending privatisation drive.
“I have heard some concerns expressed about the likely impact on tariffs of having, for instance, foreign participants in the distribution of power; but then again quite clearly, having a participant whether foreign or local does not take away the important regulatory power of the PURC,” he said.
“If we are able to ensure greater efficiency and lower cost fuel utilisation in our system, then what we could rather be expecting is that the PURC will be armed with the capabilities to insist on lower rather than higher tariffs,” he added.