By Ernest Addo
Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Research and Policies (INSTEPR) Kwadwo Nsafoah Poku, is calling on the Special Prosecutor, Attorney General and President Nana Akufo-Addo, to immediately take action on the reported near-sale of 50% of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) 7% in Jubilee and TEN oil fields to PetroSA, a South African Oil company.
“If there is ever a time a group of people should be charged with “Willful causing financial loss to the state, it should be the Acting CEO and Board Members of GNPC,” Kwadwo Nsafoah Poku, stated in a release over the weekend.
INSTEPR, according to the executive director, is monitoring the happenings at GNPC and gathering more information and threatened that “If the board approves this transaction in clear breach of the sector Minister, we will know the actions to take to protect the revenue of this country.”
Excerpts of INSTEPR press release read that “On 1st April 2021, Ghana through GNPC acquired 7% commercial interest in both the Jubilee and TEN blocks, from Occidental Petroleum (OXY). We used tax payers money of $199 million for this acquisition.
GNPC, at the time issued a statement saying “this acquisition is in line with GNPC and the Government’s strategy of increasing the country’s participation stakes in viable oil blocks going forward.”
The Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR) has come across documents of a sale of 50% of the 7% to PetroSA, South African Oil company.
Let me explain, Jubilee and TEN are oil producing fields, producing about 130,000 bpd of crude oil. Ghana had 13.64% before acquiring an extra 7%. This means that every time the crude oil is sold, Ghana will get 20.64%. A lot of money that a country depending on IMF can use for development.
The acting CEO and board members of GNPC want to give 50% of this revenue to South Africa. They are going to sell our oil money for money. Does this make sense to anyone??
We have seen a letter from the Minister of Energy, NAPO, opposing this transaction and asking GNPC to stop the discussion with PetroSA in the interest of Ghana.
We at INSTEPR are lost for words with the initial documents we have seen. We are informed that there is going to be a board meeting on Tuesday to approve this transaction with Petro SA.”
Aside INSTEPR, some 29 Civil Society Organisations are also demanding the immediate removal of GNPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah, and Board Chairman, Freddie Blay.
The CSOs: Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Imani Centre for Policy and Education and 25 others have accused the two men of working against the interest of the State.
Addressing the press on yesterday, the Coordinator for the coalition, Abdul Karim Mohammed said the continuous presence of these individuals, closely associated with petroleum operations, poses significant risks to Ghana’s interests.
Mr Mohammed explained that the Energy Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh is against a decision by the Board Chairman of GNPC, Mr Blay for offering interest in Ghana’s oil fields to a South African oil company, Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA).
Mr Blay in his capacity as the GNPC Board Chairman is said to have written to PetroSA offering it an equal split in the interest held by GNPC’s subsidiary Jubilee Oil Holdings Ltd.
“It is a viable field, and it is giving us a lot of money if we allow this to go forward. What it means is that PetroSa will be entitled to 50 percent of the earnings from the field, whereas they have not had any role in developing the field to the point where it is now viable.
The CSO said, “The information we have is that the Minister for Energy has objected to this transaction but the Chairman of GNPC Board is pushing this transaction to the extent that the Minister of Energy had written to the Jubilee House over this transaction.”