Full disclosure on oil revenue would serve GNPC well!
7/23/2012 11:17:44 PM -
In the past few days, the management of Ghana's share of oil in the jubilee fields has come up for discussion, and fingers have been pointing at the Ghana National Petroleum Authority for under-performance.
Key among concerns raised by civil society groups, especially policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, is that the GNPC has not been transparent with the management of its share of the oil fields. The state petroleum company has also been accused of misleading the public on information regarding the Jubilee Fields oil production prospects.
Issues have also been raised about the cost of the Jubilee Fields development. There is the notion that the cost of the Jubilee Phase 1A remediation programme is far above comparable costs around the world, and that Ghana is not getting value for money.
In a swift reaction, the GNPC refuted all the allegations raised against it, and assured the country of proper oversight responsibilities of the country's oil reserves.
While the company responded promptly to the numerous allegations leveled against it, the GNPC failed to tell Ghanaians why the Jubilee Fields is producing well under its projected capacity, almost three years into production.
The Jubilee Fields is currently procuring at an average rate of 67,000 barrels of oil per day, instead of the projected 120,000 barrels.
'We have asked the GNPC to explain clearly, why remedial work, attributed solely to sand contamination, has led to such a significant drop in productivity (i.e. such a high proportion of wells shut down or declining in output), when there is evidence that in similar scenarios elsewhere, remedial work has led to NO drop in productivity,' IMANI had queried.
We are told on a very regular basis that the country's coast line continues to spew more oil, yet we are unaware of the entities taking up concessions in our oil fields and details of the contracts we have with them.
It is common knowledge that the complexities of oil contracts, together with the secrecy that surrounds negotiations, could create windows for corruption. That is why it is imperative that the process surrounding oil agreements in Ghana ought to be fully transparent and disclosed to the public.
The Chronicle is uneasy with the cemetery silence that has characterised the country's oil sector, after initial enthusiasm to operate our newly discovered black gold, in an atmosphere of transparency, and to avoid the pitfalls that other producing countries have found themselves in.
With elections around the corner, and millions of tax payers monies being bandied about in the name of judgment debts, we can ill afford to wait, but ask for full disclosure of our oil proceeds.
We have reason to be uneasy about the millions of dollars from our oil fields being in safe hands and oil contracts awarded transparently, especially, when cronyism appears to have been perfected into an art in other fields of endeavour, under the Mills administration.
With elections in the air, the officials, in their desperation to win power at all cost, might not be relied upon to keep a clean slate on how our resources are disbursed on the blind side of the Ghanaian. That is one reason why we are calling for the full disclosure of oil revenues.