Withdraw amended Petroleum Agreement on South Deepwater Tano Contract Area-Minority

THE Minority in Parliament has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to direct for the withdrawal of the amended Petroleum Agreement in relation to the South Deepwater Tano Contract Area which has been laid in Parliament awaiting approval. 

According to the caucus, the renegotiated deal is not in the interest of Ghana as the country’s stake in the oil field has been reduced from 43 per cent to 18 per cent; a reduction of 58 per cent. 

At a press conference in Parliament yesterday, the Minority which described the deal as a “sell off” said “the impact from AGM/Aker Energy is huge; a potential loss of over 250 million barrels of recoverable oil production equivalent which is almost the size of the entire Jubilee Field.” 

The issue of Aker Energy and the South Deepwater Tano Contract Area came to the fore a fortnight ago when policy think tank, Imani Africa, claimed that Ghana could lose as much as US$ 14 billion if it did not take steps to renegotiate the deal. 

The government, however, in a rebuttal said Imani was misinformed on the matter. 

Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, clarifying the issue said the Petroleum Agreement covering the DWT/CTP contract area operated by Aker Energy was executed on February 8, 2006, between the Government of Ghana -GNPC, AMERADA HESS Corporation, Lukoil and Fueltrade subsequently formed in 2015.

But the Minority at its presser, addressed by its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the renegotiated agreement was retrogressive. 

Mr Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South said the impact of the renegotiation, amounting to almost 25 per cent of Ghana’s equity interest to AGM/Aker Energy, in an area that has a potential of about one to two billion barrels of recoverable reserves of oil was huge financial loss to the state. 

Questioning the need to engage AGM/Aker Energy, Mr Iddrisu noted that the GNPC had already invested over US$30 million in acquiring data and reducing exploration risks over the block with bank loans to make the block attractive prior to the entry of AGM/Aker Energy. 

“Additionally, there is the commitment by the AGM/Aker Energy to pay for GNPC on the cost of the first two exploration wells which GoG has decided to forfeit,” Mr Iddrisu said and further alleged that the forfeiture of free funding amounted to about US$62 million. 

The former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, Haruna Iddrisu revealed “had cause to decline a similar request from the AGM Energy Group citing that the terms were detrimental to the interest of the state. 

“It is, therefore, mind boggling that the current Minister, John Peter Amewu, will throw caution to the wind and decide to sacrifice the state interest on the altar of political expediency by approving this agreement,” the minority leader said. 

In a seven-point question, the minority asked why the need for the renegotiation when the fundamentals of the environment had not changed negatively, what Ghana was getting from AGM/Aker, what the motivation was for Mr Agyarko to reject the deal and “why the indecent haste to short change Ghana in this manner?” 

It continued: “who is benefiting from the new five per cent local content? Are the statutory institutions…..who are mandated to secure Ghana’s interests in the oil and gas sector, are they aware of this transaction? Should we believe the rumours that Aker Energy has grown so much wings that they even refused to have negotiation on this matter with the GNPC citing a directive from the President himself?” 

The group called on civil society and well-meaning Ghanaians to “resist this attempt to short-change the citizenry, and to resist this blatant mismanagement of the nation’s critical natural resources.” 


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