Energy and finance expert, Mr Alex Mould is cautioning government not to bend over backward to give Aker Energy unprecedented exemptions in resubmitted Plan of Development (PoD) in relation to the Pecan oil field.
If this is granted, he said, Aker Energy was going to make a windfall profit of $400m on a tax play.
The Ministry of Energy (MoE) in May this year, asked Aker Energy to submit a revised version of the entire integrated Plan of Development (PoD), which the exploration and production company submitted to the MoE on 28 March this year.
IMANI Africa had raised concerns about the oil find, indicating that the contractual agreements will short-change Ghana by approximately US$30Bn.
But Mr Mould who doubles as the former Chief Executive of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) addressing participants at the maiden Oil and Gas Conference at the University of East London in the United Kingdom said the demands by Aker Energy were unprecedented.
“Aker purchased Hess for $100m, Hess is saying they spent $1.2bn in exploration and appraisal and Aker spent additional $100m doing the appraisal work. So Aker has spent only $200m.
“Now the catch here is that Aker Energy is trying to play a tax play for us to give them $600m capital tax allowance (50% of %1.2bn) in exploration and appraisal. That means they will make automatic allowance of $400m at the expense of government and I think this is wrong,” he stated.
According to Alex Mould, it would come to haunt future governments, “with these precedents which all oil and gas exploration companies will ask for” if it was granted.
He noted there were no significant changes to the resubmitted PoD, “it, therefore, begs the question: ‘In the letter our Minister for Energy – Hon Peter Amewu – wrote to Aker Energy, what changes did he ask them to make to the original PoD?’
He called on Parliament and Ghana Revenue Authority to put a stop to it, adding that, institutions must be allowed to work
The Energy Minister, Peter Amewu who was also at the conference confirmed the terms Aker is asking for in the submitted PoD and said it was still lying on his table.
“The PoD that you are talking about is lying on my table and I insist I am not going to give them the opportunity,” he stated.