The Minority in Parliament has raised concerns with Ghana’s agreement with oil giant, ExxonMobil, describing it as a bad precedent and a financial loss to the State.
Parliament on Wednesday ratified the agreement between Government and the US oil giant ExxonMobil and its local partners, Goil Offshore Ghana Limited, for deep water oil exploration in the Cape Three Points Block.
The Agreement, which is effective for 25 years, will however expire after 7 years if the exploration yields no commercial discoveries.
But the Minority Spokesperson for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, says the exemptions granted will deny the country the right revenues.
“Whoever did that negotiation for Ghana has indeed caused financial loss to this country. He has indeed messed us up big time. If Cabinet approved this, I beg to say that they should bow down their heads in shame because they have destroyed the revenue base for this country.”
“I am very surprised that the Ministry of Finance supports this. These are the very things we oppose. They came to government and within the first six months, they have approved it. Unfortunately, I am sad. Today is a sad day for Ghana. They have lost so much,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of Petroleum, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has described the agreement as a huge gain for the country.
“With these current exemptions that we are granting them, the total oil that Ghana will get is up to 84% and that is the highest so far in the history of our country. So if someone tells you that the terms are not good, you can tell from the net oil contribution that the country will get that that is not what the person is doing.”
The ExxonMobil Petroleum Agreement was signed by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko on January 18, 2018.
The allocation, which was done through direct negotiation is situated in the deep water Cape Three Points area of the Western Region.
A Professor of Law at the University of Ghana Law Faculty, Raymond Atuguba, had earlier warned that Ghana could be shortchanged in the ExxonMobil Petroleum Agreement.
He argued that, Parliament has not been thoroughly effective in carrying out its oversight responsibilities, hence the need to critically examine the agreement.
Professor Raymond Atuguba raised this concern in a presentation christened, “The Ghana-ExxonMobil Petroleum Agreement, a legal and political economic analysis,” held in February 2019.