Head of Research for the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), Benjamin Nsiah, insists Civil Society Organizations (CSos) are not against the national oil company, GNPC’s decision to acquire higher interests in the country’s oil blocks.
He notes that the interest of CSOs lie in Ghana having value for money spent, and also to make sure the country is not cheated out of its money in this deal.
“I can tell you for a fact that if the GNPC presents its validation documents, you will realize that no appraisals have been conducted on the newly drilled wells and their cost will not even be up to $100million.
This points to the fact that the $1.6billion needed for the deal is excessive and actually, we will need not more than $300million to close the deal,” he revealed.
According to him, assuming Ghana is purchasing 27 percent of Aker Energy’s stake at the Cape Three Points and that is added to the 70 percent AGM stake the GNPC wants to acquire in addition, “then these wells which are yet to be appraised should not cost more than $300million.”
Sharing his thoughts on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show with Don Kwabena Prah, Benjamin Nsiah emphasized that CSOs continue to seek more insights into the deal and call for accountability.
He charged the GNPC to furnish the CSOs with copies of validation reports for these oil blocks. “We have been monitoring and are well aware of the activities of Aker Energy and AGM and we need these reports so we can compare notes and determine the validity of the deal.”
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) wants to acquire stakes in two oil blocks—a 37% share in the Deep Water Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) operated by Aker Energy and a 70% stake in the South Deep Water Tano( DWT/CTP) field operated by AGM Petroleum.
The deal, according to the Ministry of Energy, will result in the formation of a joint operating company with Aker Energy, AGM, and GNPC Explorco, the operating subsidiary of the state oil company, as partners.
The GNPC is counting on Norway’s Aker and the United State’s AGM to build the muscles of GNPC Explorco, to become a profitable operator–exploring and drilling oil.
The Alliance of civil society organizations working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption, and Good Governance, has warned Ghana will be shortchanged if the government goes ahead to fork out $1.65 billion for shares in two oil blocks.