Major Papers


Oil and Gas Production, Resource Curse, Local Content, Transparency, International Oil and Gas Companies, Ghana


This study investigated the role of government and IOCs in the exploration and management of Ghana’s non-renewable resources (oil/gas) for inclusive development and the prevention of the resource curse. Incorporating the rentier state theory and resource curse theory into the study, this paper found that following the commencement of oil production in 2010, the Government of Ghana has enacted major institutional and legislative frameworks, including the PRMA and the GLCL, to combat the impending challenges of the oil industry. Through the PRMA 815, the Petroleum Holding Fund and PIAC have been established for a more transparent and accountable disbursement of petroleum revenues to various other Funds. Through collaborative efforts between government and IOCs, strategic capacity development programmes and technical training initiatives have been developed to meet Ghana’s rather ambitious local content targets. However, despite these initiatives, the study found that local content implementation and petroleum revenue management have faced challenges, including high prequalification requirements, politicization of local content implementation, low technical capacity of Ghanaian employees, poor offshore labour practices, and the restriction of powers of petroleum revenue oversight institutions. Generally, oil production has engendered several important infrastructural development projects. However, there is a general discontent and dissatisfaction among local oil-producing communities in the Western Region with oil production due to discrepancies between local needs and IOC and Government socio-economic provisions. As such, this paper recommends the proper definition of the “local” in local content, the empowerment of petroleum revenue oversight institutions, organized regulations by the Petroleum Commission, and more collaborative efforts between government, IOCs, and other important stakeholders to eliminate the varied entry barriers of Ghanaians into the oil and gas industry.

Primary Advisor

Jesse Ovadia

Program Reader

Roy Amore

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year