The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has debunked claims that two top officials of the company have registered a company known as Jubilee Oil Holdings in the tax haven of Cayman Islands.
Kodzo Yaotse, Policy Lead for Petroleum and Conventional Energy with the Africa Center for Energy Policy, ACEP, at a news conference in Accra on Thursday, alleged that the CEO of GNPC, Dr. KK Sarpong and the Board Chairman, Freddie Blay, are the directors of the company per their checks from the Cayman Islands registry.
“ACEP’s search has not yet ascertained beneficial owners of Jubilee Oil Holdings. It is important to note that the representation of the CEO and Board Chair of GNPC, with their names in the General Registry of Cayman Islands, is not enough proof that GNPC is the owner of the Jubilee Oil Holdings,” he alleged.
“But, in the absence of evidence on shareholders of Jubilee Oil Holding, we proceed with the assumption that GNPC owns the company,” he added.
In a four-paged response issued on Friday, January 14, GNPC vehemently denied the allegations by ACEP.
GNPC explained, “The Corporation has not set up any offshore company. The facts of the matter are as follows: Anadarko Offshore Holding Company LLC (“Anadarko Offshore”) sought to wind up its operations in Ghana. Its subsidiary, Anadarko WCTP Company (“Anadarko WCTP”) (an offshore company registered in the Cayman Islands that holds Anadarko’s interest in Jubilee, Deepwater Tano (DWT) and West Cape Three Points (WCTP)) was to be sold to Kosmos Energy Holdings Ghana Limited (“Kosmos”). The Corporation expressed an interest in acquiring part of Anadarko WCTP’s interest in the DWT and WCTP petroleum agreements and notified Ministry of Energy. The Parties entered negotiations to determine the Corporation’s share, and it concluded with an offer to the Corporation to purchase the 7% commercial interest.
“To enable the negotiations with Kosmos for the sale of Anadarko WCTP to proceed, Anadarko Offshore incorporated a company, Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (“JOHL”), in the Cayman Islands to hold the 7% commercial interest in the interim while the parties negotiated and finalised the commercial terms of the transaction,” the Corporation added.
The GNPC further clarified that, “the parties proceeded to negotiate the commercial terms of the sale and purchase of the 7% commercial interest. The headline purchase price as of 1st April 2021 was quoted as US$199million. This price was adjusted to US$165 million effective 30th September 2021, following adjustments for cash calls, taxes and other expenses incurred as well as sales made by Anadarko WCTP within the period.
“Anadarko Offshore, the Seller, was eventually paid US$164,798,691.00 on 19th October 2021 in full settlement of the acquisition. Anadarko Offshore thereafter assigned JOHL to GNPC, as JOHL holds the 7% commercial interest.
“The Corporation is currently in the process of transferring JOHL to GNPC Explorco. It was never a ploy by the Corporation to ‘live unto itself, not the law and the nation’s strategy for its existence’ as claimed by ACEP,” the statement noted.
Per the statement, GNPC further observed that Jubilee Oil Holding Limited is in the process of registering at the Registrar General’s Department as an external company in Ghana, to enable them to transact business in Ghana’s oil industry.
“The Corporation continues to operate within the remit of the legal framework and has no intention of flouting any legal requirements and procedures. As the Corporation has always indicated, the Corporation welcomes engagement with any stakeholder in its operations. All documents on the transactions are available for scrutiny and inspection,” the statement concluded.
Read below the full statement.