Ghanaian oil Company, Griffon Energy, wants the Ministry of Energy and international oil firm ExxonMobil to come clean on how they replaced them with Ghana Oil Offshore Limited as its preferred indigenous company partner for the deepwater Cape Three Points oil block.
Ghana Oil Offshore limited on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, signed a Joint Operating Agreement with the multinational oil exploration firm ExxonMobil for Deep-water Cape Three Points Area Oil exploration.
The signing of the agreement comes after ExxonMobil said it had obtained a no-objection approval from the Ghana Government represented by the Ministry of Energy.
But a board member of Griffon Energy Africa, Dr Kwame Owusu, is disputing the claim that GOIL’s subsidiary company Ghana Oil Offshore limited was the preferred partner of ExxonMobil.
He insists that ExxonMobil wrote to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the government of Ghana to first indicate it had selected Griffon Energy despite the fact that GOIL’s subsidiary was on the list of companies that competed for the partnership. In a letter to the media, he stated
“As a member of the Board of Directors of Griffon Energy Africa Limited, I was elated to be informed on September 8, 2018, that out of the 27 aspirant partner companies, Griffon had been selected by ExxonMobil as its preferred indigenous Ghanaian company partner for the Deepwater Cape Three Points Block,” said Dr Owusu.
His joy was however short-lived as he “read in the Ghanaian press that GOIL has instead been selected as the preferred partner.”
He insists he was puzzled by the decision especially when as an interested and selected party they were not informed about the change in decision demanding a probe “when and for what reason or reasons was Griffon deselected and GOIL, which was in the unselected group of 26 companies, selected to become the preferred company?”.
Dr. Kwame Owusu who is also a Geophysicist is therefore also demanding the government of Ghana and ExxonMobil come out with the exact reasons why they made the change in the interest of transparency and fairness.
“It will be prudent for both ExxonMobil and the Government of Ghana to be very transparent and explain to both Griffon and the Ghanaian public how the decision was made.
“One would expect utmost transparency and fairness by a global company that should be expected to uphold the tenets of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the United States of America,” he said.
In 2013, Ghana passed a legislative instrument, the Petroleum Local Content and Local Participation Regulation, 2013, L.I. 2204 to provide legal backing to the Local Content and Local Participation Policy Framework that was designed in 2011.
This new law then opened the window for local companies to take part in the oil and gas or what we will call the petroleum upstream sector by ensuring that all petroleum agreement saw a joint venture which gave the 5% commercial interest.
An important part of the Local Content Policy is that it targets a minimum of 90 per cent local participation in all areas of the oil and gas value-chain by 2020.
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