Aker Energy: Gov’t must negotiate better deal for Ghana – IMANI

IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe says he expects the government to negotiate the rent for Norwegian Oil Company Aker Energy’s oil production from a position of strength.

He feels the government’s decision to delay the approval of Aker Energy’s Plan of Development (PoD) for the drilling of oil in Ghana’s Jubilee Field gives it an opportunity to ensure more financial gains for the state.

Mr. Cudjoe urged the government to extract the maximum rent of the country “and stop acting as though they are negotiating on behalf of private interests.”

IMANI’s concerns have caused more scrutiny for the agreement. Mr. Cudjoe said in a Citi News interview that the delayed approval is “better late than never.”

“Had IMANI not jumped into the fray, even this little mercy would not have been granted,” he insisted in the interview.

Aker Energy announced the discovery of oil in the Pecan South-1A well in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block offshore Ghana in January 2019.

Aker Energy has a 50 per cent stake for which it submitted the unsuccessful $4.4 billion plan for development to the government for approval.

IMANI had said there were delays in addressing the Plan of Development (PoD) proposal by the government and the think tank feared that the failure of the Energy Ministry to respond to the proposal in 30 days as stipulated by law would cause Ghana to lose its rights.

A potential $30 billion in revenue from the new oil wells was at stake, IMANI stated.

But the government said IMANI’s claims were false with the Energy Minister, Peter Amewu criticising IMANI for misinforming Ghanaians on the potential loss of $30 billion.

The government responded to the proposal, which was submitted on March 28, on April 25.

A 45-day ultimatum was given for a new proposal from Aker with new benchmarks for the company to satisfy.

As the government awaits the new proposal, Mr. Cudjoe said there were a number of key questions including the rent issue.

“There is the question of the sufficient rent that Ghana should get based on the valuation of the field. We are diametrically opposed to the Minister’s rather depressing assessment and we think that the government should negotiate from the position of strength. Nobody goes into a negotiation from a position of weakness which is what the ministry seems to be telling us that they have done,” he said.

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