PDS-Like Time Bomb in Aker Energy Waiting to Explode

A former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has raised red flags about a potential PDS-styled takeover of Ghana’s Pecan oil field by Aker Energy.

According to Alex Mould, per a resubmitted Plan of Development (PoD), the Norwegian energy company Aker, wants to clandestinely continue exploration and exploit exploration contracts worth over US$ 3 billion after their exploration period has ended in what will amount to a breach of the country’s petroleum exploration laws.

Alex Mould who is an energy and finance expert Speaking at the maiden Oil and Gas Conference held at the University of East London in the United Kingdom, alerted that Ghana will lose its 100% equity stake in the PECAN fields if the Akufo Addo administration allows AKER to extend its exploration of the field without going through fresh competitive bids.

He noted that instead of going through the process of tendering for sub-contracts, which was used for TEN (Tullow) and SGN (eniGhana) from 2012-2016, “the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Commission are in the process of approving a contracting strategy called ‘the Alliance Model’ in the PoD.”

“This will give Aker Energy the sole right to go ahead and give out major contracts worth over $3bn, without tendering, using the so-called “Alliance Model” were only existing, preferred foreign vendors who have global contracts with Aker Energy will be given the major contracts,” Alex Mould warned.

“Now, listen to this carefully; the catch here is our government is willing to permit Aker Energy to have this right, despite it violating our current laws and regulations” he stressed

Whatsup News can confirm that major Ghanaian players within the AKER deal were also involved in the controversial US$ 1 billion Power Distribution Services (PDS) contract which the government was forced to cancel recently. This players curiously link back to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Whatsup News has gathered.

This is the latest red flags raised about Aker Energy’s operations within Ghana’s oil field.

Earlier, Policy Think-tank has insisted on its claims that Ghana stands to lose US$30 billion from the antics being played out by Aker and its collaborators in government.

The Pecan oil field is an ultra-deepwater field planned to be developed in 2,667m-deep waters in the Gulf of Guinea, offshore Ghana. Estimated to contain up to 334 million barrels of oil equivalent, it represents the biggest discovery in the deep-water Tano Three Points (DWT/TP) block within the Tano Basin.

The development partners of the DWT/TP block include Aker Energy (50%), Lukoil (38%), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10%), and Fueltrade (2%).

Aker Energy became the operator of the block by acquiring 50% stake from Hess for $100m in June 2018, however, this acquisition and subsequent equity sharing in this field has raised serious suspicions that some people in the Akufo Addo government are trying to short-change the country.

Aker ASA expects Ghanaian authorities to approve a revised $4.4 billion development plan for the offshore Pecan oilfield by the end of 2019. “We still expect the production to start 35 months after the plan’s approval. We are working to see how can we get the costs down, but today we maintain the same budget,” Aker Chief Executive Oeyvind Eriksen was quoted in an interview with Reuters.

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