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21.11.2003 Business & Finance

GNPC takes back the North-Sea Pioneer

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Accra, Nov. 21 GNA - The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has taken back North Sea Pioneer (NSP), it oil production platform, from Sonangol of Angola following the settlement of all outstanding differences between the two companies in the spirit of South-South Cooperation.

"It is very gratifying indeed to report that the NSP has been safely delivered by Sonangol in Ghana and is currently berthed at the Sekondi Naval Base," Mr Moses Oduro Boateng, Managing Director of GNPC, said in a release to the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

He said the Board of Directors of the GNPC dispatched a team to Angola on April 8, this year to meet with representative of Sonangol to try and resolve all previous issues.

The statement said after days of hectic negotiations, GNPC and Sonangol, on April 15, finally resolved to drop all outstanding legal claims each made against the other.

The two companies agreed that Sonangol would contract experts to inspect the NSP to identify and remedy all defects that would make the vessel un-seaworthy to facilitate its towage into Ghana's territorial waters.

It was agreed that Sonangol would contract the towage of the vessel into Ghanaian waters and bear all the costs and expenses in connection with the inspection, repair and towage to Ghana.

The cost incurred by the Angolans in towing the vessel to Ghana was assessed to be more than two million dollars.

The statement said GNPC on the other hand absorbed the cost of maintaining the vessel in Angola, which included the payment of full fees and expenses to Aquatic Engineers and Construction Services of Aberdeen that carried out regular maintenance on works on the NSP.

The statement explained that the agreement did not only save the GNPC from continuing to pay 60,000 dollars each month to keep the NSP and its crew afloat, but also presented to Ghana a valuable asset that could be sold later and the proceeds used to reduce the stupendous acquisition, refurbishment and maintenance cost so far incurred by GNPC on the Vessel.

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