The Minority in Parliament has said that the sudden announcement by American energy giant, ExxonMobil, that it is relinquishing its interest in the Deep Water Cape Three Point (DWCTP) block is a clear sign of lack of confidence in the Akufo-Addo government.
In a statement, the Minority said ExxonMobil is just one of a number of companies that have become disenchanted with Ghana because of the Akufo-Addo government which it accused of opacity and underhand dealings.
“It will be recalled that in 2018, ExxonMobil entered into a petroleum agreement with Ghana where a ceremony was organised at the Flagstaff House under the supervision of President Akufo Addo contrary to the norm where Ministers of Energy supervises such programs,” the Minority wrote.
“This was after the NPP Government and its majority members in Parliament rail-roaded the agreement with haste despite vehement opposition from the Minority on certain key aspects of the agreement which we believed was inimical to the state…It is unfortunate that despite President Akufo Addo inheriting a well-functioning and promising oil sector from his predecessor with 3 producing fields (i.e Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa Gye Nyame), the sector has continued on a downward trend mainly due to underhand dealings and a high-level opacity in the sector.”
The statement was signed by the Ranking Member on Mines and Energy and MP for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor.
It warned that Ghana’s production capacity will decline unless the government gives priority attention to attracting new investors to fill the void left by the departure of ExxonMobil who did not explain why they have decided to leave in a letter to the Energy Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
But the statement advised that a future courting of companies and the award of contracts should be transparent.
“In 2018, Government organised the so-called e-Block licensing rounds which was publicised around the world. It was subsequently reported that 3 companies won blocks from the tender, however, to the surprise of industry players, no significant progress has been made to award the blocks to ensure the commencement of exploration activities.”
The statement lamented that after President Akufo-Addo had inherited three oil blocks from his predecessor, John Mahama (Jubilee, Sankofa and TEN fields) he has not worked to develop any new ones. “The most unfortunate news is that thus far, not a single oil field has since been added over the past 5 years although the existing oil fields are declining in volumes as we continue with production,’ the statement said.