Advocacy groups, Imani Africa and the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) have jointly issued a press release to react to the AGM Petroleum decision to relinquish its interest in the South Deepwater Tano (SDWT) block, which hosts one discovery, the Nyankom-1X.
Although Imani Africa and ACEP welcome the decision, the advocacy groups insist that there is a need for an inquiry as the relinquishment of the interest raises fundamental questions.
In the joint release, the President of the Republic, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been urged to sanction a commission of enquiry into the Aker-AGM transaction for fair treatment for Ghana.
“We welcome this development but wish to add that more needs to be done regarding this matter and the whole issue of Aker Energy’s oil holdings in Ghana to ensure the rule of law and fair treatment for Ghana as the sovereign.
“This relinquishment of the interest raises fundamental questions about the assessments conducted by GNPC and the Ministry of Energy to commit to paying for such an asset,” the joint press release shared.
Imani Africa and ACEP argue that given that AGM did not conduct appraisal post-discovery, it is fair to say that GNPC, as a partner to AGM, should have known the status of the discovery by interpreting the same dataset available to AGM.
The two advocacy groups share the view that the turn of events questions the capacity of GNPC as the national oil company and the Ministry of Energy to protect the nation against speculative investments.
The situation Imani Africa and ACEP opine is that it signals that the government overrates the technical capacity of GNPC and Ministry of Energy at its peril, requiring a relook at some of the technical advice that has landed Ghana in court.
The call for an enquiry into the Aker-AGM transaction, they stressed, is to inject a culture of accountability into the management of the petroleum industry and ensure that the country can count on leadership to avert paying hundreds of millions of dollars on avoidable transactions.
The enquiry will also come out with recommendations required to develop the Pecan field after Aker has failed to submit an acceptable Plan of Development in five years as an operator of the Deep-Water Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block.