My Footprints in Ghana’s Black Gold


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This memoir — part historical and part autobiographical — traces the author’s involvement with the final phase of petroleum exploration in Ghana, a journey that took over a century, beginning with the first onshore well in 1896. It has been a most interesting journey, with many twists and turns.

In the early days of the existence of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, there were various myths and half-truths about the presence or absence of commercial quantities of oil and gas in the basins of the Ghana.

  • Nigeria was draining Ghana’s oil and that all that was required was for Ghana to buy powerful machines and begin to pump and drain her own
  • Ghana would never find oil until the gods of Nzemaland and the Volta Region had been pacified
  • The GNPC Model Production Sharing Agreement was too stringent on contractors

A major seismic interpretation of the Cape Three Points sub-basin of the Western Region, in 1992, would turn out to be the watershed of this new brave phase of exploration in Ghana.

The book was finally launched in Ghana in April 2022.

Hopefully, going to the heart of the matter should help future generations of ordinary Ghanaians, politicians and explorationists understand what it took to make Ghana a petroleum producing country, just in case the country was afflicted by the “Dutch disease.”

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Weight 0.8 kg


Year Published




Amos Ofori Quaah

Dr Amos Ofori Quaah is a retired Geophysicist and accredited Lay Preacher of the Methodist Church Ghana and England. A graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, The Pennsylvania State University, USA and Royal Holloway University, University of University of London. He began work as a Geophysicist with Phillips Petroleum Company, Europe-Africa in London, then the Petroleum Department of the Ghana Supply commission, which later became the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
He has also worked on ground water prospecting, and served on the National Commission of the UNESCO Law of the Sea Conference as well as serving on the Ghana-Ivory Coast Border Commission for several years.
From his background in seismology, Dr Ofori Quaah first served on the Technical Committee of the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) and later, on two Sub-Committees of the National Disaster Management Organisation, Chairing the Sub-Committee on Natural Disasters for several years, from the inception of the Organisation.
A keen writer, he was a member of the Editorial Board of The Sentinel, the official magazine of the North Accra Circuit of the Methodist Church Ghana, contributing regularly on environmental issues for over a decade after the magazine was revamped from a Society periodical to a Circuit magazine in 1994. Even after he moved back to the UK to join his family, he continued to write for the magazine when it became a Connexional magazine.
Back in the UK, he worked first for an Environmental Business Management Charity and then returned to the oil industry for several years until he retired in 2013.
In retirement, he has dedicated his time to the Church of Christ, the nurture of his two granddaughters and a pet project of establishing a library for his old Primary and Middle (now Junior Secondary) Schools in Ghana, to which he has so far contributed over 1,500 reference and reading books, sports equipment, personal computers and laptops. As shown in the impressive results of last year’s Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) results, the project has already begun to yield results.
He currently lives in England, but spends one month every year with his relations and friends and to monitor and promote his education projects in Ghana.

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