The President of Ghana, Nana Akuffo Addo, has reiterated his commitment to the fight of corruption in the oil and gas sector. He made this known at the floor of parliament during the State of the Nations Address on February 21, 2020. He touched on the various sectors of the economy and how his government has performed since he was voted into power of which the oil and gas sector couldn’t be left out.
Prez Akuffo Addo recounted the efforts made by his government in ensuring transparency in the bidding and licensing rounds process, which is the first ever process undertaken by the country to award oil blocks to potential bidders. He however, lamented the opaque process adopted by the previous government in the award of oil blocks.
“We have also implemented a change from the opaque allocation of Ghana’s oil blocks to a more transparent allocation process, and advisedly so. The opaque period, 2013 to 2016, saw, according to the Ministry of Energy, the signature of thirteen (13) petroleum agreements, from which fourteen (14) wells were to be drilled. Not a single well was drilled. In contrast, in my time, over the last three (3) years, there have been six (6) drilling campaigns on three (3) different blocks, with others on the way. We will drill more and find more oil” he said.
As a background, the Ministry of Energy in October 2018 announced the first bidding and licensing process for the award of 6 oil blocks of Ghana’s offshore deepwaters. This was in pursuant to Section 10 of the country’s Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act (Act 919). Out of the six blocks; three were made available for open and competitive bidding, two for direct negotiations and one reserved for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the country’s oil company. Subsequently, the ministry instituted the Licensing and Bidding Rounds Committee to oversee the whole process. However, till date the country is yet to witness the signing of petroleum agreements with successful bidders.
We therefore ask the following: