GOIL, the country’s biggest indigenous Oil Marketing Company has by resolution changed its name from Ghana Oil Company Limited to GOIL Company Limited.
The Board of Directors also approved a change in the name of the company from Ghana Oil Company Limited to GOIL Company Limited and gave its blessings to its partnership with ExxonMobil on the exploration of deep-water Cape three Points oil field.
Founded in 1960, GOIL began as a private enterprise named AGIP Ghana Company Limited, with major shareholders GIP SPA of Italy and SNAM S.P.A. It was initially founded as a company that would produce fossil fuel products such as fuel, propane and butane, asphalt, and lubricants. In 1968 SNAM S.P.A. transferred its shares to Hydrocarbons International Holdings.
In 1976, the name was changed from AGIP Ghana Company Limited to Ghana Oil Company.
In 1974 Ghana bought AGIP SPA’s and Hydrocarbons International Holdings’ shares. In 2007 GOIL’s board approved becoming a public company, making the company a state-owned enterprise (SOE). The state currently owns 51% of GOIL’s shares. These shares are held through Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), an agency charged with Ghana’s pension system. The SSNIT holds these shares because it has an interest in major aspects of Ghana’s economy, and because it needs sectors to do well in order to insure pensions.
Due to deregulation efforts in 2005 among downstream petroleum companies, GOIL began to lose its market dominance. In order to address the revenue losses from increased competition, the company embarked on a rebranding strategy that included a new logo and a new slogan of “energy with a smile.” The new logo is meant to represent movement, energy, life, and growth. They also completed ISO certification, giving both customers and shareholders more confidence in GOIL’s products. More service stations were added as part of the initiative. Efforts are still being made to further improve customer satisfaction, and increase shareholder value. The rebranding has overall been considered successful, and has kept GOIL as the country’s top petroleum marketer.
In October 2018, Ghana began asking for bids from domestic and international oil companies to explore offshore oil reserves. In December 2018 it was announced that GOIL, in partnership with ExxonMobil and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) would be entering into deep-water oil exploration in the Cape Three Points area. This move is supposed to strengthen Ghana’s indigenous presence in the petroleum industry, and increase domestic oil production. For GOIL, engaging in deep-water oil exploration would mean shifting towards being an upstream petroleum company.