US$95m spent between 2013 and 2016 without a productive oil-well – Deputy Minister
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, a Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, says a total of US$95million dollars was spent between 2013 and 2016 on 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$880million set aside for exploration works.
The Deputy Minister said it was for that reason the ruling New Patriotic Party government decided to change its strategy and pursue aggressive exploration in order to increase the country’s oil reserves and production before the Jubilee Oilfield becomes exhausted.
Dr. Adam made the disclosure at a news conference in Accra, in response 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.
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This, he said, will increase the country’s revenue from oil production – in order to speed-up its infrastructural development and improve the people’s welfare.
The Deputy Minister said the nation has a between 55 and 60 percent 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, at an advocacy programme raised concerns about various omissions and/or commissions on the part of 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 percent 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 the 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 percent participating interest.
Moreover, Management of GNPC had used the funds meant for that purpose in guaranteeing 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 percent participating interest in guaranteeing for the Karpower project.