The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)
is in pursuit of some eight international oil companies (IOCs) to recover
outstanding Surface Rentals payments owed the country, which for the 2022
half-year alone total US$2.7million.
This is out of an estimated
US$3.4million Surface Rentals payment expected to have been received in the
period under review.
The Total receipt of Surface
Rentals (Acreage Fees) from nine of 14 companies was US$687,759 in the
half-year of 2022 as compared to US$697,978 for the same period in 2021,
representing a 1.46 percent decline.
Total estimated Surface Rentals
from all 14 existing Petroleum Agreements (PAs) for 2022 amounted to
US$882,655. Added to the outstanding US$2.57million in Surface Rentals from
both existing and terminated PAs as at end of 2021, the total Surface Rentals
receivable in 2022 is estimated at US$3.46million.
Of this figure, an amount of
US$687,759 has been paid in the 2022 half-year, resulting in a total
outstanding balance of US$2.77million.
The total outstanding balance is
made up of US$970,942 in respect of existing PAs and US$1.8million in respect
of terminated PAs, according to the Public Interest and Accountability
Committee (PIAC) in its 2022 Semi-Annual Report.
The Committee said: “Among
operators of the terminated PAs, only Sahara Energy Fields Ghana showed
commitment in H1 2022 to pay its outstanding Surface Rentals in respect of the
Shallow Water Cape Three Points Block. Out of a total outstanding Surface
Rentals of US$146,935, Sahara Energy Fields Ghana paid US$71,935 in H1 2022;
leaving an outstanding balance of US$75,000.”
In the case of three other
terminated Pas – that is Onshore/Offshore Keta Delta Block operated by Swiss
African Oil Company Limited; Southwest Saltpond Block operated by Britannia–U;
and Offshore Cape Three Points South operated by UB Resources Ltd. – the
outstanding post-termination Surface Rentals, receivable as at the end of
December 2021, being some US$862,500; US$760,209; and US$105,416 respectively,
remain unpaid as of June 2022.
This brings the cumulative
outstanding balance receivable from operators of all four terminated PAs to
US$1.8million, representing 65 percent of the total outstanding Surface Rentals
balance of about US$2.7million.
But unlike the terminated PAs,
PIAC noted that “six operators of the 14 existing PAs have paid all outstanding
Surface Rentals due Ghana”.
They include AGM Petroleum
Limited, Aker Energy Limited, Eni Ghana Exploration & Production Limited,
Tullow Ghana Limited and GOIL Offshore.
The others are Eco Atlantic,
Springfield Exploration and Production Limited, Medea Development, Base Energy
Ghana Limited, and OPCO Offshore; while Amni Ghana overpaid Surface Rentals for
the Central Tano Block by over US$636.
It is with these developments
that the GRA says it has embarked on a vigorous drive to recover all
outstanding payments in respect of Surface Rentals. This is also against the
backdrop of the Petroleum Revenue Management Regulations’ (PRMR), 2019 (L.I
It is understood that ‘Demand
Notices’ have been issued to the eight defaulting companies, requesting the
immediate payment of all arrears and associated penalties from the commencement
of their Petroleum Agreements (PAs).
Also, PIAC’s report noted that
the Compliance, Enforcement and Debt Management (CEDM) Unit of GRA has issued
garnishee orders on some defaulters, and is in discussion with others.
Meanwhile, according to GRA,
efforts have been intensified to pursue the operators of terminated PAs for
payment of their liabilities.