Dear cherished reader, another week has come to a successful close and we are delighted to bring you the weekly news wrap up from 26th Feb.-2nd March, 2018.
Beginning Monday, myjoyonline.com reported on the launch of Tullow’s scholarship scheme for Ashesi University students. The scholarship scheme was launched to support brilliant but needy Engineering students of the University. Five students of the school benefited from the package dubbed: “Tullow Ashesi Engineering Scholarship Scheme”, and will enjoy free tuition, housing, meals, and health insurance. The scholarship scheme was set up to build capacities of students through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in order to produce graduates who would use their skills to help in the development of Ghana.
Citifmonline reports on “low funding keeps sulphur in diesel products from TOR high.” According to the story, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) will need some 300 million dollars before it could refine products to the current specified sulphur content for diesel of 50 parts per million. The development also puts consumers at risk as there are fears the products may have been in circulation at the various retail outlets. The revelation comes seven months after the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) directed that all diesel in circulation must contain a maximum sulphur content of 50 parts per million.
The Finderonline reports “BOST states record on sale of crude oil” The story indicates that the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) sold 942,000 barrel of crude oil to raise $51.3 million ($51,386,100) to defray part of the company’s debts. According to BOST, in September 2017, when the crude oil was sold, the average price of the commodity on the world market was $56.55.
However, BOST gave a discount of $2 per barrel and sold the product at $54.55 per barrel. BOST, therefore, rejected reports indicating that at the time of the sale, the price of crude oil on the world market was $62. A statement issued by Media Relations Manager of BOST, Nana Akua Adubea Obeng, said the crude was sold to BB Energy as Free on Board (FOB) price.
Published in the daily graphic on Tuesday was an interesting story on a team of Ghanaian technology experts who are building a special robot from waste material to be used to perform multiple tasks that include obtaining detailed maps of a seafloor before installation of subsea infrastructure such as pipelines. Commercial and recreational vessels will also use the robot, underwater to detect and map submerged wrecks, rocks and obstructions that are hazardous to navigation. Known as the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), the successful production of the robot is expected to help cut down the cost of subsea infrastructure by offshore oil and gas companies, as well as improve safety at sea and other water bodies
The Graphic further reports on tax waiving as one of means of eroding local gains in the extractive sector. The comments were made by Prof. Raymond Atuguba, a constitutional and petroleum law expert, stressing that the issue of tax incentives and waivers to multinational companies, especially in the extractive sector, needs to be substantially changed if Ghana is serious about promoting long- term economic development. He noted that company tax payments were minimal due to low tax rates, while governments often provided companies with generous incentives such as corporation tax holidays.
The Business Finder reported on the ExxonMobil deal. The story cautions the government, parliament, civil society actors and citizens to be extra cautious in the deal. According to the story,
“there is absolutely no doubt that Ghana’s petroleum sector is experiencing a boom, especially after the favourable ruling of the special chamber of the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Indeed, investment analysts were unanimous in predicting a boost in Ghana’s economic fortunes.
We believe that Ghana is going to see a return of the investments suspended by the decision and a lot of interest from major players in the upstream oil and gas sectors, Chief Executive Officer of C-ENERGY, Mr. Michael Cobblah says in his outlook for 2018. Ghana is set, therefore to attract some of the world’s oil majors- the likes of ExxonMobil (soon to start operations in Ghana), Chevron, BP, Shell and Aker into the oil and gas industry”
This paper’s investigations into the activities of ExxonMobil reveal loads of issues of concern, which must engage the attention of government, parliament, civil society organizations and all Ghanaian citizens.
The Institute of Energy Security predicted a 3% drop in fuel prices in the first pricing window of March. A statement signed by the Principal Research Analyst, Richmond Rockson, indicated “this second consecutive dip in prices at the pump should be a major relief for petroleum consumers considering the several price hikes experienced in the last few months”. Speaking to citibusinessnews, Mr. Rockson added, “In the next pricing window, consumers are going to be paying less per litre of fuel as compared to what they are paying now. We are also expecting that prices will go down between one and three percent because crude oil prices on the international market have reduced. Currently, it’s gone down by 3.3 percent and currently trading at 65 dollars per barrel”.
Making headlines today was a story on the Energy Ministry’s mandate to light up cities and communities to help curb nefarious activities in the country, following the recent spike in armed robbery attacks in the country. The Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid said to the press on Thursday that government will implement a coordinated program to sync all CCTV cameras to a National Operation Command Centre. He also gave assurances on the government’s solemn promise to keep Ghanaians safe.
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Have a restful weekend.