Energy expert and Senior Research Officer at Ghana Institute of Governance and Security, Solomon Kwawukume, has cast doubts on the validity of all petroleum agreement contracts signed between the government of Ghana and petroleum companies for exploration and other activities, describing them as illegal.
According to him, the spirit and intent of PNDC Law 64 and 84 – which guides such contracts – is to ensure that every petroleum agreement between the government of Ghana and any petroleum company should be Production-sharing agreement, but all the contracts so far have been signed as Concession agreements.
He is therefore proposing that all the existing petroleum agreements be declared null and void since in his opinion, they do not conform to PNDC law 64 and 84, the only law governing petroleum exploration and production agreements.
Solomon Kwawukume explains that, due to the nature of the agreements signed, Ghana has lost so much to the foreign owned companies currently operating in the country.
Meanwhile, Solomon Kwawukume has cautioned parliament not to pass into law the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill 2013 in its current form because it will further deprive the country of the full benefit of the country’s oil and gas.
Cabinet has approved the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill 2013, and it is expected to be laid before parliament for approval into law to regulate the upstream oil and gas industry in Ghana.
He implored lawmakers to reject the bill in its current form as it will mark the end of any major benefits Ghanaians living and yet unborn would have from the oil and gas find.
In a related development, the Executive Director of Ghana Institute of Governance and Security, David Agbee, is calling for the quick adoption of a Production Sharing Agreement framework to enable the country benefit fully from the oil and gas discovered in the country.
He said if Ghana was operating a Production Sharing Agreement, the country would have earned over US$4 billion at the end of December 2013 and at the end of 31st March 2014, Ghana should have earned over US$5 billion but Ghana only earned US$1.8billion in 3 years while the foreign oil companies made away with US$7.590 billion.
At the end of 31st March, 2014 Ghana earned US$2.089 billion while the contractors made away with US$8.448 billion in the name of investment.
The Executive Director said: ‘If our political leaders and the technocrats were to throw away their self-interests and be bold enough to adopt the pure PSA, Ghana, with revenue accruing from the Jubilee Fields alone would experience a great transformation. Ghana would earn over US$50 billion in 20 years as against the US$20billion and US$19 billion estimated by the IMF and the World Bank respectively.’
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