Once again the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation company (BOST) is in the news again for all the wrong reasons. Once again it has to do with the disposal of state owned petroleum products under conditions to are worrying to industry watchers.
These are the facts as we know them. In November 2016 Crude oil from the TEN field in Ghana was supplied by a company called AOT to BOST.
AOT has been one of the suppliers of crude to BOST. The product was delivered into BOST tanks. The nature of the transaction was that the Supply was done on open account basis.
This means that BOST did not need to establish a letter of credit (LC). BOST usually won’t pay for such a transaction until after 120 days. The current management of BOST has now gone ahead to sell the crude at a discounted price to an unlicensed company called BB Energy. This has resulted in a heated debate between COPEC and BOST with alleged threats flying all over the place. In the course of this confusion some questions are not been answered particularly by BOST IN their interaction with the public.
1. Why did BB Energy not pay for the crude oil when it took control of the product?
2. Was there an LC or any other instrument established to BOST by BB Energy?
3. Why is BB Energy now paying for the crude only after the product has been partially processed by TOR and it (BB Energy) has started lifting the processed products?
4. Why did BOST not continue with the tolling arrangement it already had in place with TOR
5. TOR owed BOST some money. BOST had prepaid TOR to refine the crude. So why did BOST not allow TOR to refine the crude and then sell the refined product to BB Energy at a higher margin. What BOST rather did was to sell the crude at a discounted price to BB Energy, occasioning a loss of $2 per barrel. This is the figure that has been calculated to be $5,3 million dollars.
6. Is it the case that Mr. Alfred Obeng only used BB Energy as an intermediary to siphon money from the state?
7. Does this transaction resemble any transaction in recent times? BOST selling contaminated product at a discounted price to an unlicensed company (movimpina). Without paying for the product, Movimpina sells the product to Zupoil, another unlicensed company at a higher price. Movimpina then pays BOST only after selling the product and taking off its margins.
8. Why has BOST once again decided to deal with an unlicensed company in the petroleum downstream sector?
9. Was the board aware of this transaction and did they give their approval
10. Was the procurement processes as captured in the law adhered to
11. Were the right taxes paid to GRA
12. What is this claim that the cargo was a distress one. Crude can be stored for many years. It simply does not make sense to me
This time round a non partisan committee of experts must be set up to investigate these issues very thoroughly. Please let the BNI or any security agency not allow itself be used to cover up any rot.
In the meantime we are still waiting for the minister to publish the report on the five million litres contaminated fuel saga.