“GNPC ship sold to pay judgement debt”

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has noted with great concern some confusion that has been created as a result of a front page publication of the Ghanaian Times newspaper dated September 12, 2013 and captioned:“GNPC SHIP SOLD … To pay judgment debt”.

The story states inter alia that “the Drill Ship belonging to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has been sold without the knowledge of the corporation.”

The story continues “the Discoverer 511 (Drill Ship) was sold at $24 million by the Ministry of Energy, to defray a judgment debt of $19.5 million to Societe Generate, as ordered by a high court in London.”

This reportage has generated some level of confusion in the media as to the period this alleged transaction occurred, how much was involved and who authorized it. The Ministry of Energy and petroleum wishes to state categorically that this deal took place on the 17th July, 2001 during the administration of the New Patriotic Party.

As to questions like: what precipitated the case in the UK court; how much money was realized from the sale of the drill ship, Discoverer 511 and when was it sold are subject of investigation by the Commission of Inquiry into Payment from Public Funds Arising from Judgment Debts.

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is currently cooperating with the Commission to unravel the mystery surrounding this transaction and therefore wishes to reassure the general public that it will at all times endeavour to be transparent and accountable to Ghanaians.

Edward Bawa
(Head of Communications)