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Minority demands whereabouts of $47m given GNPC

The Minority is demanding the whereabouts of some 47 million dollars approved by parliament for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to acquire 10 per cent shares in an oil block in Ghana’s Deepwater Tano Cape Three Point (DWT/CTP).

GNPC, which already holds 10 per cent interest in the oil block discovered by Hess, in 2014 requested to acquire additional 10 per cent through its subsidiary Explorco, and subsequent signed a 44 million-dollar agreement with Hess in 2015.

In the 2015 and 2016 budgets, the minority said parliament approved 47 million dollars to GNPC and same was released by the government in GNPC’s annual programme of activities for the two years, to pay for the additional 10 per cent.

However, the minority in a statement issued Monday said the boundary dispute between Ivory Coast and Ghana caused the execution of the assignment and assumption agreement to delay and also affected the petroleum operations of the DWT/CTP Block between 2014 and 2017.

The minority said the GNPC was after September 2017, expected to effect payment for the 10% shares but failed, forcing Hess to reclaim the 10 per cent it had allocated to GNPC through Explorco.

“It was planned that after the ITLOS ruling, payment would be made for the 10% [shares],” the statement signed by Ranking Member for Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu MP said.

This, the minority said, has left GNPC with a paltry 10 per cent in the entire oil block leaving Hess with 50 per cent, Lukoil 38% and Fueltrade 2%.

Hess Ghana’s shares have since 2018 been taken by Aker Energy.

According to them, when Hess in 2018 opted to sell its 50% shares to Aker Energy, the then Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko proceeded to approve the transaction in spite of the several requests from the Minority to the government to acquire the 10% paying interest to minimize the effects of the flaws in the fiscal package.

“This act of negligence and incompetence has made Ghana to lose 10% more shares in the block. The benefits that would have accrued to Government by taking the 10% share would have been enormous,” the minority indicated.

No new oil discovery

Meanwhile, the Minority has laughed off what it called “attempt to deceive Ghanaians into believing that there is a new discovery of 550million barrels of oil by Aker Energy”.

According to the minority, Ghana in 2006 signed a petroleum agreement with Hess Ghana for exploration and production of DWT/CTP block for seven years, which was subsequently ratified by parliament the same year.

Per the agreement, GNPC had 10 per cent and Hess Ghana 90 per cent.

At the expiration of the agreement on 18th July 2013, the exploration period had acquired a total of 300 Sq. Km of Seismic data and had drilled eight exploratory wells and made seven successive discoveries between 2011 and 2013. Five of the wells were for oil and two for gas.

“It is evident that the Pecan discovery in 2012 under President Mahama’s Government is now being treated by the Nana Addo/Bawumia led Government as if it is a new discovery,” the minority said.

“It is important to put on record that, what Aker Energy did since 2018 and after the ITLOS ruling, was drilling Appraisal wells based on Hess’s acquired data to determine the commercial nature of the discoveries that were made by Hess in 2012 and 2013,” it added.

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