Ghana is likely to miss its target of boosting oil production to 120,000 barrels per day by the end of the year due to technical challenges, the head of state oil company GNPC said on Thursday, marking a second delay.

The West African state joined the club of oil producers in late 2010 after the offshore Jubilee field operated by UK energy company Tullow Oil started up, with an initial aim to reach plateau output of 120,000 bpd by August.

Ghana's Jubilee field produces light, sweet crude, much of which is used by refiners in Europe.

It is likely we may not reach plateau production by the end of this year ... There have been some technical challenges and we are now looking at early 2012, GNPC chief executive Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye told Reuters on the sidelines of a energy conference in Accra.

He said current output was about 80,000 bpd.

The onset of oil revenues in the country, also a major cocoa and gold producer, has helped propel annual growth to over 30 percent, making it one of the world's fastest growing economies. But significant delays to targeted oil production could dent revenues to the treasury.

A spokesperson for Tullow said, These are short-term issues with no impact on field resources. We continue to work towards the plateau rate of 120,000 bpd.

The 120,000 bpd target was first pushed back from August to the end of the year, which Tullow said was following the sidetrack of an existing production well.

Asafu-Adjaye said he believed Ghana's total oil reserves were at least 1.25 billion barrels.

Ghana's total crude oil production from the Jubilee field stood at 16.7 million barrels between January and September, Energy Minister Joe Oteng-Adjei told the conference.

Oteng-Adjei said there had been 24 liftings from the field by all partners and that the state of Ghana had earned $337.3 million from its three liftings of 2.98 million barrels.

Tullow shares were up 6 percent by 1538 GMT.