The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) says Oil Marketing Companies with less than 45 distribution outlets across the country will not be allowed to trade in government’s Gold for Oil (G4O) consignment.
The decision according to the NPA was arrived at in consultation with the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC).
The Chief Executive of the NPA, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, disclosed this when he took his turn at the Minister’s Briefing in Accra yesterday.
He said the decision would become the criteria for distribution of G4O consignments to enable consumers across the country to feel the benefits of the programme.
In addition, it was to address the concerns of the AOMCs on lack of clarity regarding the allocation of products supplied under the programme to its members.
The criteria takes into consideration the top 25 OMCs who distributed petrol and diesel in 2022 with not less than 45 retail outlets across the country.
Dr Hamid touted the implementation of the G4O as it had slightly lowered prices of petroleum products and reduced forex risk.
He explained that the country had received three cargoes so far, comprising 41,000 metric tonnes (MT) of diesel in January, and another 40,000MT of diesel and 35,000MT of petrol which had just arrived and being discharged.
He stressed that “better results are expected as more G4O cargoes arrive.”
Touching on the situation before the implementation of the G4O programme, Dr Abdul-Hamid said average monthly petroleum product import bill ranged from $350 million to $400 million.
He said the petroleum downstream dollar demand accounted for 20 per cent of national demand.
The NPA Boss noted that Bank of Ghana (BoG) commenced a special exchange rate auction programme for the petroleum downstream in April 2022, and indicated that the special auction programme could not meet 100 per cent of forex demand in the country.
“Inadequacy of BoG supply pushes BIDECs to speculate forex rates arbitrarily based on proposed rates from commercial banks,” he said, and explained that the gold payment was mooted as a solution to the pressure that petroleum downstream put on the cedi.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said the NPA regulates G40 products prices on the interim (Ex-ref price and Ex-pump prices).
He stated that the Authority had intensified price monitoring activities with penalties for defaulting service providers.
Touching on activities undertaken to ensure product quality and integrity, the NPA Boss mentioned the supply of low sulphur fuels (cleaner fuels), a maximum of 50ppm for imports and a maximum of 1500ppm for domestic production.
The NPA also undertakes periodic petroleum product monitoring exercises, conducts fuel marker monitoring and quality monitoring of fuel standards (Quality Control) including checking of water in fuel and collaborates with security agencies to prevent illegal imports, exports and product dumping.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said the Authority used technology (Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), National Fuel Monitoring System (NFMS) and the Automatic Tank Gauge system) to ensure intended delivery of petroleum products along the petroleum downstream value chain.
He mentioned the revocation of licenses and publication of the names of defaulting Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs) and Laycans allocation and monitoring to ensure adequate supply as some of the activities undertaken to ensure order in the downstream petroleum industry.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL