US$95 million spent between 2013 and 2016 without drilling a single oil well - Deputy Minister
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, a Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, says a total of US$95 million dollars was spent between 2013 and 2016 for drilling oil wells but none resulted in the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities.
He said 13 petroleum contracts were signed between the previous government and oil investors with US$880 million set aside for exploration works.
The Deputy Minister said it was that reason the ruling New Patriotic Party government decided to change its strategy to pursue aggressive exploration in order to increase the country’s oil reserves and production before the Jubilee Oilfield got exhausted.
Dr Adam made the disclosure at a news conference in Accra, to respond to some concerns raised by IMANI Africa, a policy think tank, on alleged omissions and/or commissions on the part of Government in respect of the Petroleum Agreement between government and Aker Energy.
“All the oil discoveries in Ghana were petroleum contracts signed under the government of President J. A. Kufuor and those that were signed from 2013 to 2016, which is the highest number of petroleum contracts signed by government of Ghana, as I speak to you, not a single well has been drilled,” he said.
This, he said, would increase the country’s revenue from oil production in order to speed up the country’s infrastructural development and improve the welfare of the people.
The Deputy Minister said the nation had between 55 and 60 per cent net oil stake in the DWT/CTP oil block as agreed in the petroleum agreement with Aker Energy.
IMANI Africa, a policy think tank, on Thursday, April 25, stated at an advocacy programme raised concerns about various omissions and/or commissions on the part of the Government in respect of the Plan of Development submitted by Aker Energy covering the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) contract area.
Responding to why the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) failed to acquire the 10 per cent participating interest in the DWT/CTP block in 2015, Dr Adam said although funds were allocated for that purpose the GNPC Management at that time failed to seize that opportunity.
Therefore, when Aker Energy acquired the right of interest of HESS in the DWT/CTP, the nation lost the opportunity to acquire the 10 per cent participating interest.
More so, the Management of the GNPC had used the funds meant for that purpose in guaranteeing for the Karpower deal and other transactions, which did not fall under its mandate.
Dr Adam called for investigations into reasons that motivated the GNPC to use the funds for the 10 per cent participating interest in guaranteeing for the Karpower project.