The Ghana Institute of Governance and Security (GIGS) has described the new Petroleum Exploration and Production Law 919 of 2016 as “fraudulent and a robbery”, saying, “It has come to protect and consolidate the thievery going on.”

The institute says, it has sent a petition to the President Nana Akufo-Addo and members of the Council of State, but are yet to receive any response.

The GIGS has consistently criticized the contractual agreement form of engagement with the oil block owners and operators.

According to GIGS, if Ghana had adopted the world standard norm, the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), without participating in the project with no cost to incur and depending on the terms, Ghana could have earned more.

“Ghana could have opted for profit only, royalty plus oil profit and royalty play oil profit and corporate taxes,” he said.

The GIGS claims the country has not benefited enough from its oil find, over eight years on.

Moreover, Mr Solomon Kwawukume, a Senior Research Officer of GIGS accused Parliament of having integrity problem.

The Parliament of Ghana, he said, “we discovered is part of an international conspiracy to deny Ghanaians a fair share of their sovereign property in the name of attracting investment for the oil lobby money that comes their way, He said Ghana over a six year period, earned a total of 32,942,181 barrels valued at $2,894,213,645 (16.60%), while foreign oil companies drilling the oil made $14,072,835,892 (80.70%) from the 165,540,873 barrels produced.

“We are preparing to take our case to the Supreme Court for arbitration.”

The 4th Quarter Petroleum Receipt and Distribution Report indicates that in 2016 out of the 28,947,968 barrels of oil produced from Jubilee Field and TEN Fields, only 2,850,000 came from TEN Fields, of which Ghana had no allocation.

“Out of the balance of 26,097,968 barrels from Jubilee Field, Ghana had 4,824,417 barrels representing 16.60% of total production of the 4th Quarter of 2016. The 2016 total of $28, 947,968 barrels brought the cumulative six years total production to 198,483,054 barrels valued $17,438,125,675 at the Moving Average Price of $87.857 per barrel.”

Meanwhile, Co-chair of the Ghana Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) Dr. Emmanuel Steve Manteaw has said before that, the inability of the country to properly sequence the governance frame work was the first mistake after the oil find in 2007.

He said the country didn’t do the national visioning, which couldn’t translate the vision into policy objectives.

But, Mr Boakye Agyarko, the Minister of Energy, has expressed confidence in the country’s oil and gas sector saying the industry has the potential to create many jobs to help reduce unemployment in the society.

Mr Agyarko said the industry had a” bright future” and government was committed to championing robust plans to develop it for economic growth.

The Energy Minister has noted that government was directing its energies towards the development of a prudent regulatory framework to guard oil exploration and exploitation in the Jubilee, Tweneboah-Ehyenra-Ntomme, and the Sankofa-Gye Nyame oil fields.

Some of the regulations include the Petroleum Local Content and Participation Act, 2013 (L.I 2204) and the Petroleum Exploration and Production Measurement Regulation, 2016 (L.I2246) whilst other projects such as a comprehensive Petroleum Data Repository Register was being developed to record all upstream activities.

The move, he said, was to regulate the award of contracts and other significant activities in the oil and gas industry to ensure that Ghana benefited satisfactory from her resources.

The Energy Minister said following the discovery of oil, the country has attracted several foreign investors with some of them establishing their offices in Ghana.

“Going forward government will ensure transparency through competitive bidding,” he said and assured industry players of opened doors for both foreign and local direct investment within the sector.

Also, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Mr Theophilus Ahwireng admitted in an interview that the journey since 2007 has been challenging yet beneficial, with production increasing from the previous 100,000 barrels of oil to the present 200, 000 barrels per day.

He said several human capacity building and skills development programmes have been undertaken to increase local participation and also ensure technology transfer.

Mr Ahwireng said there have been several benefits such as the reservation of goods and services for indigenous companies leading to an improvement in the quality of life of these communities resulting from the jobs created.

Subsequently, Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has indicated in an interview that the Corporation would be awarding scholarships to 250 students in the tertiary institutions who were pursuing courses in oil and gas-related sciences, this year.

This, he explained, forms part of the Corporation’s corporate social investment which was anchored on education and training and called on all partners to support this course.

The GNPC, Mr Sarpong said, would also focus on targeted interventions to ensure that communities affected by the oil and gas exploration had sustainable livelihoods.

He said the organisation constantly engages with local communities to educate them on the realities of the oil find and the revenue accrued from the upstream industry to clear all forms of doubts formed by community members.

There were presentations from oil industry companies made up of KOSMOS, EO Group, Tullow, ENI and HESS.

On his part, Mr George Owusu, the Chief Executive Officer of E.O Group, whose untiring efforts led to the first discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, urged young businessmen, engineers and students to maintain high levels of integrity and truthfulness in all their dealings particularly in redeeming tax obligations for national development.

He has commended all players who contributed towards the discovery of oil and its development in the country saying there is the need to honour our heroes before their demise.

Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed