Last updated: 06 Nov 2013

Brief history of Ghana

The Republic of Ghana is located in West Africa. It borders Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient, predominantly Akan Kingdoms, including the Akwamus on the eastern coast, the inland Ashanti Empire and various Fante and non-Akan states like the Ga and Ewe states along the coast. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a Crown Colony, the Gold Coast, in 1874.

Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence in 1957. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who was responsible for the successful negotiations with the British and declared independence, became the first Prime Minister and then President of Ghana. Recognising the significant role Dr. Kwame Nkrumah played in modern Ghana's development, the FPSO was named after him by the Jubilee Integrated Project Team.

In 2009, John Evans Atta Mills took office as President with a difference of about 40,000 votes (0.46%) between his party, the National Democratic Congress, and the New Patriotic Party, marking the second time that power had successfully been transferred from one legitimately elected leader to another, and securing Ghana's status as a stable democracy.

Hydrocarbon exploration in Ghana

Hydrocarbon exploration in Ghana started as early as 1896 with wells being drilled in the vicinity of Half-Asini as a result of oil seeps found in the onshore Tano Basin in the Western Region of Ghana. The Saltpond field was discovered in 1970 by a Signal Amoco well approximately 100 km west of Accra. Between 1978 and 1985 a total of about 3.47 million barrels of oil was produced from the field and 14 billion cubic feet of gas was flared. A platform, Mr Louie, used for the production is still in place. Operations resumed in 2000 and the field is currently producing about 600 barrels of oil per day. 

Over the past eight years, exploration for commercial hydrocarbons in Ghana has intensified with activities undertaken by Tullow, Kosmos, Hess Corporation, Hunt Oil, Afren and Norsk Hydro Oil and Gas among others. Since Tullow began drilling its first well in June 2007, Mahogany-1, the Group has drilled over 30 further wells across its Deepwater Tano and West Cape Three Points licences discovering the Jubilee, TEN, Teak, Mahogany and Akasa fields.

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Jubilee special feature

Oil tanker

His Excellency John Atta Mills, President of Ghana led the celebrations to mark First Oil