In August 2007, Ghana through a consortium of oil exploration companies announced the discovery of oil in commercial quantities off the Western shores in Ghana's Western region. The initial estimate by Tullow Oil PLC and its partners of 800 million barrels of oil in the deep water Tano block has now been revised upwards to a potential reserve between 2 to 4 billion barrels.
With the expected flow of commercial quantities oil and gas beyond 2010, there is an urgent need for journalists especially those specializing in coverage of oil and gas issues to stay on top of key issues in the industry in order for them to play the important role of informing and educating the general public of the impact, challenges and benefits of the huge oil and gas find thereby deepening public education and discourse.
In order to help journalist minismise misreporting in this highly technical area, an industry knowledge base, facilitating networking with industry experts and monitoring, the International Institute for ICT Journalism (www.penplusbytes.org) has launched " Reporting oil and Gas" project at the ongoing WABA Ghana Oil and Gas Business Conference and Exhibition, in Takoradi, Western Region. The key building blocks of the project are online portal, mailing lists, face to face and online training.
According to Eric Osiakwan, Director at PenPlusBytes, "we are pleased to launch this project because it will go a long way to provide journalists with information and knowledge they need to cover oil and gas issues effectively at a central online point"
Reporting oil and Gas project can be found at www.reportingoilandgas.org and its evolving online network of journalists working in the oil and gas area can be found at http://groups.google.com/group/reportingoilandgas
The International Institute for ICT Journalism www.penplusbytes.org is serving as the co-ordinating organization for this project working hand in hand with key partners. PenPlusBytes seeks to empower the media through the use of ICTs to advance the work of journalism. It consists of a network of media organizations and journalists interested in using ICTs effectively to advance the course of journalism.
Takoradi, Western Region, Ghana
4th June 2009