The Minority in Parliament has raised concern over a protracted impasse between ENI/Vitol and Springfield Ghana will land the country in a $7 billion judgment debt.
ENI/Vitol challenged a decision of then Minister of Energy, John-Peter Amewu, for a Unitisation and Unit Operating Agreement with Springfield Ghana, at the Sankofa and Afina fields which ENI/Vitol contended the decision was premature and did not meet industry standards.
A legal tussle subsequently ensued, with ENI/Vitol eventually initiating action in the International Court of Arbitration for $7 billion against the Government of Ghana.
But the Minority stated that the development was not progressive for the sector and urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately intervene in the matter to avert the looming judgment debt.
A statement signed and issued by John Jinapor, Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, , said the dispute was avoidable and had negative implications for attracting investment into the oil sector because the unitisation processes were poorly managed, leaving a blemish on Ghana in the oil and gas sector.
It indicated that the last thing the government should be contemplating was to watch their reckless decision to wilfully cause Ghanaians an avoidable judgment debt to a gargantuan tune of $7 billion and the dispute with ENI required tactful leadership, which was unfortunately not forthcoming from the government.
Eni Ghana dragged Ghana to the London Tribunal over the tension and in Ghana, a court ordered the government to halt payments to Eni and Upstream Limited, amidst the ongoing legal dispute.
The Commercial Division of the Accra High Court ordered the operators of the Sankofa Oil Field to preserve 30 per cent of all the revenues which will be accrued from the field until the final determination of the legal dispute relating to it and the 30 per cent revenue must be paid by the operators, Eni and Vitol into an account agreed by all the contesting parties.
Eni Ghana unsuccessfully appealed the case and then filed a suit at the International Tribunal in London to challenge directive by the Ministry of Energy, asking them to unitise the Sankofa offshore oil field and Afina oil block.