Energy think tank Africa Centre for Energy Policy want the Ghanaian government to review all petroleum agreements

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has called on the Ghanaian government to immediately review all petroleum agreements and subsequently abrogate non-performing contracts in the interest of the country.

Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye

Speaking to the media the Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye, said the energy think tank’s petroleum monitor report on the performance of active petroleum contracts for this year had revealed that 12 out of the 15 entities that had petroleum agreements in the country failed to deliver on their contracts.

He alleged that Tullow Ghana Limited, ENI Ghana and Aker Energy Ghana Limited were the ones that had been productive, while the 12 others failed to "even drill a well, despite holding on to the oil blocks".

"The evidence from many of the existing contracts does not paint a sustainable picture for the industry because many of the companies have not delivered on the agreements signed with Ghana,” he contended, and said the time had come for a bold action to be taken on those entities, so that Ghana could produce more oil.

Mr Boakye said the government has failed to heed ACEP’s call even though they have consistently encouraged the government to be prudent.

"The government has, for the past two years, been making the point that the contracts will be reviewed and non-performing ones abrogated, but nothing has been done so far. But the point is that if we fail to take steps to add to our production profile, it will be dangerous for us as a country because we rely so much on oil revenue," he stated.

He called on the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to be firm and demand compliance from the companies.

"If contractors fail to deliver on their work programme at any particular time, the GNPC should demand the payment of the unspent balance of the minimum expenditure requirements," he stressed.

He added that the government must be transparent when awarding contracts to clients.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy has assured the public that it would do due diligence before awarding contracts.

The Head of Communication at the ministry, Nana Kofi Oppong Damoah, told the Daily Graphic that processes had already begun to review the contracts.

“This issue that has been raised by ACEP is already being tackled by the Ministry of Energy. The ministry is aware that 13 companies have not met the minimum work obligations but we are going through the process to review the contracts,” he said.

“It is for the purpose of transparency that the government switched from administrative bidding to open bidding system in the allocation of petroleum contracts so we can assure ACEP and the public of a transparent process because the government will not rig it,” he added.

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