The Ghana National Petroleum Corporations (GNPC) has debunked claims that it has set up an offshore company in the Cayman Islands.

This follows an allegation made by the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) that the GNPC is seeking to assign an interest in some of Ghana’s oil blocks to Jubilee Oil Holdings, a company registered in the Cayman Islands.

ACEP claims its checks have revealed that this company is registered with Dr. K. K. Sarpong, CEO of the GNPC and Freddie Blay, Board Chairman of GNPC as directors.

“ACEP’s search has not yet ascertained beneficial owners of Jubilee Oil Holdings. It is important to note that the representation of the CEO and Board Chair of GNPC, with their names in the General Registry of Cayman Islands, is not enough proof that GNPC is the owner of the Jubilee Oil Holdings.

However, in the absence of evidence on shareholders of Jubilee Oil Holding, we proceed with the assumption that GNPC owns the company.”

These allegations were levelled by ACEP’s Policy Lead for Petroleum and Conventional Energy, Kodzo Yaotse, at a news conference.

In reaction, the GNPC in a statement dated January 14 issued by the Corporate Affairs Department, refuted the claims.

“The Corporation has not set up any offshore company. The facts of the matter are as follows: Anadarko Offshore Holding Company LLC (“Anadarko Offshore”) sought to wind up its operations in Ghana. Its subsidiary, Anadarko WCTP Company (“Anadarko WCTP”) (an offshore company registered in Cayman Islands that holds Anadarko’s interest in Jubilee, Deepwater Tano (DWT) and West Cape Three Points (WCTP)) was to be sold to Kosmos Energy Holdings Ghana Limited (“Kosmos”). The Corporation expressed an interest in acquiring part of Anadarko WCTP’s interest in the DWT and WCTP petroleum agreements and notified Ministry of Energy. The Parties entered negotiations to determine the Corporation’s share, and it concluded with an offer to the Corporation to purchase the 7% commercial interest.”

The GNPC clarified that, “to enable the negotiations with Kosmos for the sale of Anadarko WCTP to proceed, Anadarko Offshore incorporated a company, Jubilee Oil Holdings Limited (“JOHL”), in the Cayman Islands to hold the 7% commercial interest in the interim while the parties negotiated and finalised the commercial terms of the transaction.

The Corporation noted that, “the parties proceeded to negotiate the commercial terms of the sale and purchase of the 7% commercial interest. The headline purchase price as of 1st April 2021 was quoted as US$199million. This price was adjusted to US$165 million effective 30th September 2021, following adjustments for cash calls, taxes and other expenses incurred as well as sales made by Anadarko WCTP within the period.”

The GNPC explained further that, “Anadarko Offshore, the Seller, was eventually paid US$164,798,691.00 on 19th October 2021 in full settlement of the acquisition. Anadarko Offshore thereafter assigned JOHL to GNPC, as JOHL holds the 7% commercial interest.

The Corporation is currently in the process of transferring JOHL to GNPC Explorco. It was never a ploy by the Corporation to ‘live unto itself, not the law and the nation’s strategy for its existence’ as claimed by ACEP, ” the statement noted.

Touching on the assertion that that Jubilee Oil Holding Limited cannot transact business in Ghana’s oil industry because it is not registered with The Registrar General’s Department, the GNPC said, “the Corporation is in the process of registering JOHL as an external company in Ghana.”

“The Corporation continues to operate within the remit of the legal framework and has no intention of flouting any legal requirements and procedures. As the Corporation has always indicated, the Corporation welcomes engagement with any stakeholder in its operations. All documents on the transactions are available for scrutiny and inspection,” the statement concluded.

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