Government is under intense pressure to abrogate contracts of oil companies which have so far failed to undertake any major development on their assigned blocks within the stipulated time period of six years.
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has revealed that only three out of the fifteen companies that have been assigned oil blocks in Ghana’s waters have been able to successfully develop their wells and have actually found oil.
According to the Executive Director of ACEP, Ben Boakye, all efforts to get government to abrogate the contracts of the unproductive companies have yielded no fruits so far. It is at a lost why these unproductive companies are still being tolerated at the expense of the state.
Speaking at a press briefing on its assessment of the petroleum sector on Monday, ACEP said apart from Tallow Ghana Ltd, ENI Ghana Ltd, and Aker Energy Ltd which have so far been productive, the other 12 companies that are still sitting on the blocks have failed to even drill a well, let alone discover oil in commercial quantities for the country.
The Energy Think-Tank has therefore called on government to immediately review of all petroleum contracts and abrogate the non-performing ones in the interest of the country.
According to ACEP’s Petroleum Monitoring Report on the performance of petroleum contracts, the Central Tano Block, the Expanded Shallow Water Tano Block, Deepwater Tano Block, Sout Deepwater Tano Block, and Cape Three Point Deepwater Block are the active contract areas so far.
According to the Executive Director ACEP, Ben Boakye, Parliament has over the years failed to conduct proper due diligence into the petroleum contracts that have gone through their hands, hence the high number of non-performing contracts in the sector.
A former Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Kwabina Tahir Hammond, has also been on a crusade for the contracts of these companies he considers incapable to be abrogated in order to make way for big money bag companies to take over.
According to him, these small companies only take over the blocks knowing very well they do not have the required resources and technical know-how to develop the blocks.
He therefore alleges that they only speculate the blocks in order to make money at the expense of the state.
He said, as a Ranking Member back then when the contracts for awarding of the blocks came before Parliament for approval, he supported it because the documents presented by these companies looked solid. But now regrets the consequences of his actions.