Eni has filed a suit at the International Tribunal in London to challenge a directive by Ghana asking the company to unitise the Sankofa offshore oilfield with the Afina block, operated by Springfield
The government is committed to ensuring an amicable resolution of the impasse between Ghana and the Italian oil giant Eni, President Nana Akufo-Addo has said.
The president gave this assurance on Friday when he met members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs during his tour of the region.
“I’m still very upset that, at the end of the day, the matter that we were having discussion on has become the subject of a notice of arbitration. We should settle this matter and I will do my possible best to resolve it,” Akufo-Addo said.
Eni last week filed a suit at the International Tribunal in London, UK, to challenge a directive by Ghana’s Ministry of Energy asking them to unitise the Sankofa offshore oilfield and the Afina oil block, operated by Springfield E&P, a wholly Ghanaian-owned, relatively new player in the upstream market.
A statement from Eni filed by three reputable lawyers – Craig Tevendale, Andrew Cannon and Charlie Morgan, all of the global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP – said the oil giant is seeking five reliefs from the tribunal.
The claimant wants the tribunal to declare that the purported directives of 9 April 2020, 14 October 2020 and 6 November 2020, as well as any other steps taken to implement these directives, represent a breach of contract under Eni’s petroleum agreement with the Government of Ghana.
The third relief the claimant is seeking is an order that the respondent pay damages, in an amount to be quantified, for the losses suffered by the claimant arising out of the respondent’s breaches of the petroleum agreement, Ghanaian law and international law on a joint and several basis.
In addition, the claimant is seeking an order that the respondent pay all the costs and expenses of the arbitration, including the fees and expenses of the claimant counsel and any witnesses and/or experts in the arbitration, the fees and expenses of the tribunal and the fees of the SCC (the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, whose rules govern arbitration of international disputes) on a joint and several basis. Alternatively, the claimant is demanding an order for such further or other reliefs as the tribunal may, in its discretion, consider appropriate.
Readers will recall that in April 2020, Ghana’s former energy minister John Peter Amewu issued a directive to Eni and Springfield E&P to begin talks and to combine their adjacent oil and gas interest. Amewu gave the two sides until 18 September to reach an agreement.