Policy Think Tank, IMANI Africa has accused Norwegian Oil company Aker Energy of trying short-changing Ghana in its petroleum Agreement with Ghana for oil production.
IMANI argued that Aker Energy did not have any formal agreement with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation before it explored oil in some areas outside the blocks it inherited from original owners Hess Energy.
Aker Energy in January announced that it has discovered oil in commercial quantity at the Cape Three Point offshore after it took over from Hess Energy.
Challenging the terms under which Aker had entered into new agreements with Ghana, the Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil stated that Ghana will lose millions of dollars if the company is allowed to start oil production.
“Hess’ concession was based on the old law which many people believed shortchanged Ghana because it gave us too little and that is why we have passed new laws such as Act 191 and the related legislation so we can get a bit more from our oil.”
“Somehow, Aker believes that it can get more favourable terms even under the new law and they, are seeking recognition of the terms they inherited which Hess was working under.”
He added that IMANI’s sources indicate that “Aker has relaid its request for a renegotiation and that renegotiation presently is being considered and going through a series of things which makes us worry why Aker gets what they get in this country.”
IMANI had previously explained that if the agreement is renegotiated, Ghana stands to gain an estimated $9 billion, through potentially 25% to 30% increased equity interest and royalties.
It estimated that Ghana is likely to lose $4.8 billion if the agreement with Aker Energy is not renegotiated.
The Minority in Parliament is also raising issues with the oil discovery by Aker Energy.
It said Ghana could lose $7.2 billion in the deal.
“Clarity is crucial in this matter because a new Petroleum Agreement (PA) for any new Exploration leading to a new discovery will give the State much enhanced fiscal terms, including at least a 10% Royalty for GoG, plus a minimum of 15% Carried Interest as stipulated by Law; whereas the existing Hess/Aker Petroleum Agreement gives Ghana 4% in Royalty, and 10% Carried Interest, representing a minimum difference of 11% in oil production and revenue that would have accrued to the State,” it said in a statement.
Aker Energy Ghana is a subsidiary of Norwegian-based oil exploration and production firm, Aker Energy AS.
It is the operator of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block, with a 50 per cent participating interest in the licence.