Friday, 19 February 2021

Aker Energy Contract: Alex Mould calls on government to renegotiate for better deal

 


 Adnan Adams Mohammed

An energy expert has for the second time called on the Government of Ghana to instigate a renegotiation of the ‘supposed badly renegotiated’ Aker Energy oil exploration deal of the Pecan well.

It can be recalled that, the Government last year renegotiated the Deep Water Cape Three Point oil block deal which reduced the participating interest of Ghana and that of GNPC to about 18 and 3 percent respectively. This generating a heated debate and advocacy by many energy experts because they felt Ghana was being shortchanged to favour a foreign entity and some few ‘selfish’ Ghanaian politicians and power brokers. 

But, according to explanations given by the government, the rationale for the renegotiation was intended to give some incentive to Aker energy prior to the takeover of the Deepwater Cape Three Point oil bloc from AGM Petroleum, the original company that acquired the block during the previous government. But, some energy experts argue that the renegotiated deal has no economic benefit to the state and should be reversed.

“I don’t know how anybody could be convinced by the decision of the government to reduce the country’s interest in an oil block that belongs to the people of Ghana, from 43% to 18%, for what reason”, Former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Alex Mould quizzed.

 


“There are so many questions that needs to be asked about this deal because it doesn’t make sense for me as an industry person and I think civil society and the media must ask questions.”

 

Government last year justified the decision to renegotiate the agreement which led to a reduction of participating interest of the GNPC from 15% to 3% as well as reducing Ghana’s interest from the original 43% to 18%.

 

Also, the new agreement has also increased Ghana’s free interest in the bloc to 15% from a previous 10%.

 

According to the government, Aker Energy eventually drilled three wells instead of the two outlined in the agreement and eventually struck oil after exploration in the Deepwater Cape Three Points bloc.

 

Aker Energy Ghana reaffirmed its commitment to finding a solution that will allow for the commencement of a phased development of the Pecan field offshore Ghana.

 

“In a time when most other E&P companies are putting development projects on the shelf due to the COVID-19 situation and historic low oil prices, Aker Energy and our partners, Lukoil, Fueltrade and GNPC, working closely with the government of Ghana, are actively pursuing a development concept where we can commence phase one of a phased development of the Pecan field,” says HåvardGarseth, CEO of Aker Energy. “

 

In March 2020, Aker Energy announced that a final investment decision (FID) for the Pecan field development project had been placed on hold, postponing the project. While no new date has been set for the FID, the company is working actively to confirm the feasibility of a phased Pecan field development by executing conceptual studies.

 

In recent development, Aker Energy AS has promoted Kadijah Amoah as CEO of Aker Energy Ghana Limited, effective January 4, 2021.

 

Until this announcement, MrsAmoah held the position of Country Director.

 

“This sends a strong signal that Aker Energy is committed to become a fully Ghanaian operator managed and run by Ghanaian employees. Mrs Kadijah Amoah as a Country Director proved her drive, intellect and passion for her native country and the company and we are looking forward to her management of this transition”, says HåvardGarseth, CEO of Aker Energy AS.

 

“For the Ghanaian people, we need to get in control of our own destiny and it starts with mastering the development and operation of the vast energy resources we have”, said MrsAmoah. “The 700 million barrels of undeveloped oil in our block and the adjacent AGM block have the potential to transform Ghana, not only the economy but also the competence base. The latter can also be applied over time in other sectors such as the renewables sector.”

 

She further shared that; “I am humbled by this honour, but also glad that Håvard and his very experienced technical team will continue to support and safeguard the technical delivery until all technical knowledge and competence have been fully transferred to my home country”, said Mrs. Kadijah Amoah.

 

But, have wondered if the promotion of MrsAmoah was to reward her lobbying and getting a better deal in favor of the company against the interest of her native country, Ghana. 

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