Norway’s Aker Energy, which bought oil exploration and production licences for the Tano Cape Three Points Block in Ghana from Hess Corporation early this year will collaborate with trade unions on workers’ rights including freedom of association and the right to organize, membership recruitment, and social dialogue.
Aker Energy, which has vast experience from the Norwegian continental shelf, will work closely with unions on defining the labour requirements with sub-contractors and along the value chain. Further, it will prioritise the employment of Ghanaian workers, fair working conditions, and sourcing of inputs locally.
At a recent meeting in Accra, Aker Energy, which has signed a global framework agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL Global Union, said it will extend the agreement to its Ghana operations when production starts in 2021. The company, which has an agreement with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) that reviews investment conditions and licencing, wants to work with Ghanaian unions in similar ways to how it works with unions in Norway.
The collaboration will be supported by Industri Energi, an IndustriALL Global Union affiliate in Norway, which will provide training of shop stewards from its sister affiliate, the Ghana Transport and Chemicals Workers Union (GTPCWU). The support will include monitoring and reporting on the GFA as well as exchange visits and the forming of solidarity networks between oil and gas workers in Ghana and Norway.
Tendai Makanza, IndustriALL regional officer for Sub Saharan Africa said:
The meeting laid a solid foundation for collaboration between IndustriALL and Aker Energy. Further, the solidarity and support between GTPCWU and Industri Energi is an important model on how IndustriALL affiliates can work together globally by using GFAs as a tool for building strong unions and union-to-union solidarity.
The Ghana oil and gas industry is still in infancy, having only started production in 2010 at the Jubilee fields with reserve estimates of up to one billion barrels. According to Aker Energy, the Tano Cape can produce an estimated 550 million barrels of Brent Crude and has potential for a further 400 million barrels. The oil fields will also produce at a break-even price of US$35. Currently Brent Crude is selling at $74.24 per barrel.