Reconsider planned acquisition of GNPC in oil blocks—CSOs petition Parliament

A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the extractive industry, has urged Parliament to reconsider the planned acquisition of stakes in Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum Ghana oil blocks by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

It said the possible merits of the deal could not be a guise for poor decisions that threatened the country’s economic and fiscal outlook.

Whilst the group noted that its members were not opposed to the government increasing its stake in natural resource ownership, the deal was not in the interest of the citizenry and it was clear in their minds that the transactions “if approved will shortchange the nation”.

In a petition by 15 CSOs to Parliament, it requested the House to intervene given that the deal had already gone through all the relevant branches of the Executive ostensibly glossing over important threats of the transaction to the country’s fiscal situation.

GNPC, through its GNPC Explorco, is allowed to participate in the upstream petroleum sector and it plans to purchase a 70 per cent stake in the South Deep Water Tano operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited and a 37 per cent stake in the Deep Water Tano/Cape Three Points operated by Aker Energy Ghana Limited.

The company will form a joint operating company with the two entities and acquire the said stakes at different agreed prices, GNPC has already secured Cabinet approval and is seeking $1.65 billion loan and the company has justified the deal saying such a partnership with the two entities is critical because of the exiting of oil majors from the country.

It said it needed to build its capacity and take up a large part of the exploration activities before Ghana’s oil reserves hit a level of terminal decline. –

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