Accra, May 28, GNA : National Security is to investigate operations of Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited (SOPCL) on the management of its storage vessel MT Bonsu, a security operative told Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra at the weekend.
He said the investigation followed series of complaints from some operators in the industry and civil society activists who had accused SOPCL of abusing lifting and sale of petroleum products in the country.
The Security Operative noted that another oil company Speed House Ghana Limited was alleged to have imported adulterated petroleum products with the connivance of some officials in the oil industry.
It explained that the companies sourced offshore from a West African country but created the impression that the oil products were imported from Brazil.
The source said National Security had initiated moves to collaborate with other security and intelligent agencies locally and internationally to combat the illegal operations.
Official information made available to Ghana News Agency, said in January 2000, Lushann International Energy Corporation (LIEC) of Houston entered into a Joint Venture agreement with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The Agreement provided LIEC with a 55 per cent working interest in the Saltpond Field and related infrastructure in exchange for LIEC providing 100 per cent of redevelopment costs.
In addition to the working interest right, LIEC was granted the right to develop up to 400MW of power generation infrastructure to commercialise the Saltpond field natural gas resources.
In order to finance the development of the project, Lushann-Eternit Energy Limited was formed as a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of LIEC to act as local owner/operator of LIEC’s working interest in Ghana.
GNPC and Lushann-Eternit Energy Limited formed Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited (SOPCL) as the Joint Venture vehicle and local operator in Ghana of the Saltpond field.
In June 2004, the original agreement was replaced with a tripartite agreement signed among Government of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Energy), GNPC and Lushann Eternit Energy Limited.
In 2008, SOPCL bought a new storage vessel MT Bonsu to replace the leased MT African Wave which had then become dangerous to operate.
It will be recalled that the Committee for the Defence of Ghana Interests (CDG), a civil society organisation, has traded a number of allegations against Speed House Ghana Limited, a crude oil marketing company and called for investigations.
A statement jointly signed by Paul K. Banahene, National Co-ordinator of CDG and Sammy Ayitey, National Secretary said “as patriotic citizens, it would be irresponsible of us to close our eyes when we see things going wrong”.
“It is in view of this that members of CDG wish to draw the attention of the relevant security agencies and to request them to investigate the activities of Speed House Ghana Limited, crude oil marketing company with contacts in Lausanne, Switzerland.”
“We are concerned about the trading activities, especially, the oil products they sell on the Ghanaian market.”
“We want the authorities to investigate and find out how such low standard products could be allowed onto the market without the notice of the necessary authorities.”
“We will also wish the security agencies to look further to find out whether there are other stakeholders in the industry collaborating or conniving with them,” the statement said.