Aloha! Welcome friends, to the weekly news wrap up review where we give you the gist of all the breaking stories that graced the covers of our newspapers this week. We hope you enjoy this and wish you a beautiful weekend to you and yours.
We began the week with a continuation of the BOST scandal. The various news outlets continued to report on the BOST “deal” that took the centre stage in the media in the passing week. The issue continued to get murkier each day as it caught a lot of flak from various stakeholders including the anti-corruption campaigners. Veteran journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, also weighed in on the discussion. Baako described the allegation as causing too much confusion in the public as the issue awaits an independent probe. He however, admonished the public to be circumspect in discussing the issue and called for an independent probe into the matter. Read more here
In another edition, Kasapafmonline reported on the decision by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumer (COPEC) to petition the office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the circumstances that led to the alleged fraudulent sale of 1.8million barrels of crude oil by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST). The Executive Director of COPEC, Mr Duncan Amoah, made this known during a press briefing on Monday following a raging controversy over claims that the latter had caused financial loss to the state through the sale of the oil product lower than the initial price. Read more here
On Tuesday, Citifmonline reported on Aker Energy’s intentions to start drilling oil in Ghana by 2021. The CEO of the Norwegian oil company, Jan Arve Haugan, shed light on the company’s road map for its activities in Ghana at the Norway-Ghana Business Investment forum on Monday 19th March 2018. The company is said to still be in the process of acquiring the paperwork required to commence activity in Ghana from the designated authorities. Click here to read more.
3News posted an insightful article about the “aggressive” oil exploration strategy Ghana has adopted to boost activity in the nations upstream sector. The Vice President, Alhaji Mahammudu Bawumia, made this announcement at the launch of NORFund, a Norwegian fund, in Accra. He remarked that the government will later in the year “allocate oil blocs to competent companies in our offshore basins”. This strategy, he said, is in line with the President’s “Ghana Beyond Aid” vision. Read more on the exciting announcement here
Our midweek news included recurring stories on the Exxonmobil exploration deal. In a news article by the Ghana News Agency, the minister of Energy, Mr. Boakye-Agyarko took a stand to defend the deal he signed; along with GNPC on the behalf of Ghana, indicating that the agreement was in line with the government’s aggressive oil exploration strategy to attract beneficial partnerships for economic growth. “The direct negotiations was the best way to go considering that there are just a few oil companies in the world that have the wherewithal, in terms of equipment and financing, to undertake such ultra-deep-water exploration,’’ he justified at the sixth edition of the Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference in Accra, on Wednesday, themed: ‘’10 years of Oil and Gas: ‘‘Challenges and Prospects’. Read more here
Furthermore, Tullow Oil has promised to develop requisite skills in the oil and gas industry in Ghana as part of its objective to impact countries in which they do business. The CEO of the company, Charles Darku, in a speech at the launch of the Tullow Scholars Alumni at the British Council on Friday, March 16, stated that We want to leave a legacy of shared prosperity; a legacy in which we are able to impact the communities in which we work. Education and capacity building helping to grow skills in the oil and gas sector in Ghana and build up needed manpower are important avenues to even those legacies”. For further reading, click here
Today, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) made frontline news as attention was drawn to the staggering figures the corporation has pumped into activities such as road construction, gold mining and others, which are out of scope of its core mandate. This revelation came to light when parliament approved the corporation’s 2018 working programme. “GNPC has decided not to focus on their core mandate. I say this because the programmes that we approved today is something that stinks. GNPC is deviating from their core mandate as enshrined in law. For some strange reason, GNPC is saying they are going to spend 20 million dollars for the purposes of building their head office in Accra. In spite of that, they have an existing head office and they are saying they are spending 13.4 million cedis to renovate that office. What at all are they renovating?” Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority Spokesperson on Finance questioned. Read more here
Still on GNPC, the corporation has allocated a sum of US$1m each to four universities in order to promote studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) for capacity building. The universities, University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT) will each receive a sum of US$250,000 annually over the course of four years. According to the General Manager for Sustainability, the GNPC Foundation has awarded 880 fully funded scholarships in 20 universities in the country, which covered their tuition, living expenses, book allowances, and dissertation allowances. Read more here
Here’s a list of other exciting news for the week:
Media war against BOST is act of blackmail – Energy Minister
GNPC’s new office to cost $20m; GHc10m to renovate existing office
Aker Energy buys Hess Ghana business, expects first oil in 2021 – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hess-divestiture-aker/aker-energy-buys-hess-ghana-business-expects-first-oil-in-2021-idUSKCN1G30OA
Aker Energy quickens process to start oil drilling in 2021 – http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/20/aker-energy-quickens-process-start-oil-drilling-2021/
Publish BOST-BB trade terms – COPEC – http://www.classfmonline.com/1.11901577