The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, has said his outfit will test the fuel from the oil vessels which were detained in Ghanaian waters.
The Ghana Navy has detained two Nigerian oil vessels for engaging in the illegal transfer of oil in Ghanaian waters around Kpone in the Greater Accra Region.
According to the Navy, they impounded the two vessels after receiving intelligence about the illegal operations in Ghanaian territory.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Mr Tampuli said the Tema Oil Refinery would be allowed to pick samples of the seized products for testing to ascertain the actual content in the vessel.
“Those two vessels are not registered in Ghana. The product type, they were exchanging, we are not even sure whether they meet our internal specs. We are going to go into further details on how to exact appropriate sanctions if there are any. This is just clearest indication of resolve not to allow the criminals an inch in this country. Ghana maritime authority will do even more detailed investigations into how it was the vessel got into our territorial waters.”
“For now Tema Oil Refinery or Intertek will come and take samples and we will take it from there,” he added.
The Chief Staff Officer at the Navy Headquarters, Commodore Issah Yakubu, told the media that the number of sailors on board the vessels was 11 and they were all Nigerian nationals.
“On Friday through our intelligence networks we were able to detect a suspected illegal activity going on in our waters. This involved two ships which were transferring fuel; we call it STS, ship to ship transfer at sea. Before these activities take place certain protocols have to be followed but we suspected that the necessary protocols had not been followed and we pursued them and they are now under arrest.”
He said the ship, which was transferring what is suspected to be crude oil to another vessel “is a Nigerian registered ship…From the initial check-in document, we have even seen a change of name.”