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GRA chases 8 oil coys for defaulting Surface Rentals payment

GRA Ghana Revenue Authority21212111212 Ghana Revenue Authority

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 Source: thebftonline.com

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is in pursuit of some eight international oil companies (IOCs) to recover outstanding surface rentals payments owed the country, which for the 2022 half-year alone total US$2.7million.

This is out of an estimated US$3.4million surface rentals payment expected to have been received in the period under review.

The total receipt of surface rentals (Acreage Fees) from nine of 14 companies was US$687,759 in the half-year of 2022 as compared to US$697,978 for the same period in 2021, representing a 1.46 percent decline.

Total estimated Surface Rentals from all 14 existing Petroleum Agreements (PAs) for 2022 amounted to US$882,655. Added to the outstanding US$2.57million in Surface Rentals from both existing and terminated PAs as at end of 2021, the total Surface Rentals receivable in 2022 is estimated at US$3.46million.

Of this figure, an amount of US$687,759 has been paid in the 2022 half-year, resulting in a total outstanding balance of US$2.77million.

The total outstanding balance is made up of US$970,942 in respect of existing PAs and US$1.8million in respect of terminated PAs, according to the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) in its 2022 Semi-Annual Report.

The committee said: “Among operators of the terminated PAs, only Sahara Energy Fields Ghana showed commitment in H1 2022 to pay its outstanding Surface Rentals in respect of the Shallow Water Cape Three Points Block. Out of a total outstanding Surface Rentals of US$146,935, Sahara Energy Fields Ghana paid US$71,935 in H1 2022; leaving an outstanding balance of US$75,000.”

In the case of three other terminated Pas – that is Onshore/Offshore Keta Delta Block operated by Swiss African Oil Company Limited; Southwest Saltpond Block operated by Britannia–U; and Offshore Cape Three Points South operated by UB Resources Ltd. – the outstanding post-termination Surface Rentals, receivable as at the end of December 2021, being some US$862,500; US$760,209; and US$105,416 respectively, remain unpaid as of June 2022.

This brings the cumulative outstanding balance receivable from operators of all four terminated PAs to US$1.8million, representing 65 percent of the total outstanding Surface Rentals balance of about US$2.7million.

But unlike the terminated PAs, PIAC noted that “six operators of the 14 existing PAs have paid all outstanding Surface Rentals due Ghana”.

They include AGM Petroleum Limited, Aker Energy Limited, Eni Ghana Exploration & Production Limited, Tullow Ghana Limited and GOIL Offshore.

The others are Eco Atlantic, Springfield Exploration and Production Limited, Medea Development, Base Energy Ghana Limited, and OPCOOffshore; while Amni Ghana overpaid Surface Rentals for the Central Tano Block by over US$636.

It is with these developments that the GRA says it has embarked on a vigorous drive to recover all outstanding payments in respect of Surface Rentals. This is also against the backdrop of the Petroleum Revenue Management Regulations’ (PRMR), 2019 (L.I 2381) passage.

It is understood that ‘Demand Notices’ have been issued to the eight defaulting companies, requesting the immediate payment of all arrears and associated penalties from the commencement of their Petroleum Agreements (PAs).

Also, PIAC’s report noted that the Compliance, Enforcement and Debt Management (CEDM) Unit of GRA has issued garnishee orders on some defaulters, and is in discussion with others.

Meanwhile, according to GRA, efforts have been intensified to pursue the operators of terminated PAs for payment of their liabilities.

Source: thebftonline.com
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