No petroleum revenue loss-Energy Minister

The government says the country would not lose billions of dollars in relation to oil deposits, recently discovered by Aker Energy Ghana, in the Deep Water Tank/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block offshore Ghana, as claimed by policy think tank, IMANI Africa.

Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu explained that the work done by the Norwegian company, which led to the discovery of oil deposits of 450 to 550 barrels, was a continuation of appraisal programme based on an existing petroleum agreement (PA).

The appraisal programme, he said, was started by Amerada Hess Ghana Limited, an oil company, whose interest, Aker Energy and its partners, acquired in February 2018.

At a news conference in Accra yesterday, in reaction to several assertions made by IMANI about the discovery, he stated that based on the aforementioned reason, there was no basis for the government to negotiate a new PA with Aker energy.

Addressing a news conference in Accra on Thursday, Vice President of IMANI, Kofi Bentil, asserted, amongst other things, that the government was looking on for Aker Energy to claim oil deposits and as such was treating the company with kid gloves.

The discovery, said to be the biggest in Africa, according to him, had the potential recoverable reserves of nearly one billion barrels and per current crude prices of 65 dollars per barrel, estimated to be worth at least 30million dollars with Ghana to lose about 15 billion dollars in oil revenues if no action was taken.

Other concerns, he raised, were that the government would lose the right to the deposits, if it did not respond to a Plan of Development (PoD) , submitted by Aker, by the close of yesterday as the 30-day limitation period for approval would have elapsed and the plan deemed approved.

However, Mr Amewu described the claims by IMANI as “total fabricated false information” that lacked the high level of technical knowledge required to analyse the “complicated” oil and gas industry.

He said the drilling of some of the wells in the Pecan Field, started by Hess, had to be postponed for two- and–half-years due to the provisional ruling  of the Special Chamber  of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in 2015 on the Ghana/Cote D’Ivoire maritime dispute.

The then Minister of Petroleum, he said agreed with the parties of the DWT/CTP contract area that their PoD should be submitted 10 months after the final ruling which  was  further delayed for eight months, to include result of the entire Pecan appraisal in the PoD.

He challenged IMANI’s calculation of the field value, stating that per the 25 per cent oil recovery rate of the country, the field was worth $7.3billion and not $30 billion, assuming a barrel of oil was sold at $65.

On IMANI’s claim on the PoD approval,  Mr Amewu said based on a recommendation from  Petroleum Commission that Aker had not met all requirements for approval,  the ministry communicated to Aker on Wednesday April 24, two days ahead of the deadline, to review.

He denied claims that Aker had extended the period of the petroleum agreement from 2036 to 2049 or in negotiation with the government to get favourable terms in the existing PA and assured Ghanaians that the government  would seek their interest at all times.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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