The Africa Centre for Energy Policy is demanding that Parliament suspends an oil exploration and production deal between the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation (GNPC) and a consortium, AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited.
The multi-million dollar contract is touted as one of the biggest oil exploration deal ever considered by Ghana since the discovery of oil in 2007.
The deal is however now a subject of controversy. Some civil society groups are questioning its propriety and potential to aggravate the international tussle between Ghana and Ivory Coast over a disputed piece of maritime area.
Africa Centre for Energy Policy argued that the AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited lacks the pedigree to execute the deal in the best interest of Ghana compared to the other international oil and gas companies, which put in a bid for the contract.
Documents intercepted by Joy News indicate that Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee has recommended the approval of the contract, which will give AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited the right to mine in the disputed territory.
According to the Committee’s report, which is yet to be presented to the House for approval, one of the three shortlisted companies, Statoil had indicated their unwillingness to work in the ‘disputed’ area and rather wanted a parcel of the block. The decision by Statoil, the Committee said, would undermine Ghana’s sovereignty.
But Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of Africa Centre for Energy Policy told Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday that looking at the pedigree of the companies, Statoil should have been given the nod.
According to him, the company’s reservation, which was the reason for denying it the bid was “flimsy”, adding, “ the reality is that there is a dispute”.
He said the decision taken by the country shows that Ghana is “not serious as a country as far as taking risk into investment decision is concerned” noting that the centre has reviewed the contract and would send its analysis to Parliament for consideration.
“We are recommending that this deal should be suspended for some time until we are clear about the direction regarding the dispute.”
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