Sunday, 23 June

PetroSA deal: 29 CSOs want GNPC Board Chair Blay & ag. CEO gone, say they're 'a threat to Ghana's petroleum sector'

Freddy Blay

The Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Freddie Blay, and the state oil company’s acting chief executive officer, Mr Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah, must leave office immediately becuase they have become "a threat" to Ghana's interest in the petroleum sector, some 29 civil society organisations have demanded.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC) and the 27 others, in a statement, are demanding complete information on the "AFC transaction and the actual amount that would constitute petroleum cost and the immediate closure of the Aker PoD from the Petroleum Commission and Government".

They said the controversies surrounding Aker Energy and AGM operations in Ghana and the sale of 50% of Jubilee Oil Holding Limited’s interest in the Deepwater Tano block to South Africa's PetroSA, are a matter of concern to them.

"In these difficult times, the nation needs prudent management of its resources to derive the fullest of benefits and bring relief to the suffering masses", the CSOs said.


Napo blasts Blay for 'scandalously' offering Ghana's oil fields to S.A.'s PetroSA despite warning against it


Meanwhile, Energy Minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh has described as "scandalous", Mr Blay's offer of half of the state oil company’s stake in the Deep Water Tano block to PetroSA despite a decision by the Ghanaian government against the transaction.

Mr Blay is said to have written to PetroSA offering it an equal split in the interest held by GNPC’s subsidiary Jubilee Oil Holdings Ltd (JOHL).

Dr Prempeh, in a tersely-worded letter to Mr Blay, however, ordered an immediate cessation of the transaction talks being led by the GNPC Board chairman, insisting the country would be short-changed.

"The Corporation should cease any further negotiations with PetroSA on matters of PetroSA’s intended pre-emption of the JOHL stakes",  letter by Dr Prempeh published by The Chronicle said.

It noted: "The stakes were acquired by the government of Ghana with state funds", adding: "The government of Ghana has informed the South African government through their minister responsible for natural resources and energy in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the African Energy Week, 2022 in Cape Town that Ghana would not approve any pre-emption of the JOHL stakes".

Dr Prempeh continued: "Subsequent to the meeting with my counterpart Hon Gwede Mantasha, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy in South Africa on the above subject, I have had cause to formally respond to him in two successive correspondences affirming government's position on the matter and you [Mr] were in copy in all instances".

"It is, therefore, scandalous that, in spite of these directives, you have led GNPC to offer part of the government-acquired JOHL interest in the DWT to PetroSA".

"I direct that you cease and desist from any further flouting of the directives forthwith and withdraw the offer made to PetroSA in your letter of April 23, 2023, immediately", Dr Prempeh ordered Mr Blay.

Also, civil society organisations in the extractive industry, at a press conference led by ACT Africa's Abdulkarim Mohammed, said: "We demand the dismissal of Freddy W Blay and Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah as they have become a threat to Ghana’s interest in the petroleum sector".