The oil and gas industry is segregated into: Upstream, Midstream and Downstream Sectors.


This sector encompasses the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. The International Oil companies (IOCs) that currently explore offshore and onshore Ghana are the Kosmos Energy, Tullow, Anadarko, Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings, Hess Corporation, Vitol Upstream, Eni, AGM Petroleum, Cola Natural Resources Limited, Medea Development Ltd holds, A-Z Petroleum Products Ghana Limited, and ECO Atlantic Oil & Gas Limited.


This involves all activities concerning the storage, and internal transportation of refined petroleum products by Bulk Transporters. Imported refined products or refined products off-taken from local refineries are warehoused in storage tanks aka ‘tank farms’. These products are delivered to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) as may be directed by a BDC or Oil Trading Company (OTC) through facilities known as Gantries. The BDCs that own tank farms include Fueltrade Limited, Puma Energy, Petroleum Warehousing and Supplies Limited, Cirrus Oil services, and Chase Petroleum. Internal transportation may be done via Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) aka ‘Tankers’ or by Barges operated by the Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC).


The downstream sector covers the refining, marketing and sale of petroleum products. Players in this sector involves the Refineries, Bulk Oil Distributors (BDCs) and the Oil and LPG Marketing Companies. There are two refineries in Ghana namely; Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) – which is a parastatal company and Platon (private company). There are currently 34 BDCs, 95 OMCs, 9 Depots, 41 LPGMCs, 13 OTCs and 2894 BRVS in Ghana (www.npa.gov.gh). The Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors serves as the advocacy, lobby and representative body of the BDCs. Association of Oil Marketing Companies and LPG Marketing Association of Ghana represent the Oil Marketing Companies and LPG Marketing Companies in Ghana respectively.

Refineries convert crude oil into refined petroleum products. Bulk Oil Distributors import refined petroleum products (from Oil Trading companies) or offtake from Local refineries and sell them in bulk quantities to OMCs. OMCs resell the (bulk) refined petroleum products in retail quantities at various filling stations to final consumers.

Other Players

Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Ltd. (BOST) has a network of storage and pipeline infrastructure to facilitate the transmission and distribution of natural gas. BOST manages the national strategic stock and coordinates inter-depot transfer of products all over the country.

Mooring and Port Companies like Kpone Marine Services and Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GAPOHA) provide (berthing) infrastructure to receive vessels (or ships) for the discharge of petroleum products.

International Oil Traders (IOT) like Glencore and Sahara supply refined products and crude oil respectively to the downstream industry players.

Banks serve as source of funding instruments (like LCs) and underwriter for trading activities in the oil and gas industry.


Ministry of Energy formulates, implement, monitor and evaluate policies in the industry. Petroleum Commission promote, regulate and manage the efficient conduct of upstream operations. The downstream (and midstream) sector is regulated, overseen and monitored by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) as enacted by law. Energy Commission is mandated to regulate and manage the transmission, wholesale, supply, distribution and sale of natural gas. By virtue of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541), Public Utilities Regulatory Commission has regulatory responsibility over charges for supply, transportation and distribution of natural gas services.

Eric Opoku.