Ghana Files Response To Eni Case In London

The Government of Ghana has filed a response to the suit by the Italian oil and gas firm, Eni, at the International Tribunal in London, United Kingdom.

Ghana’s Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame disclosed this in a telephone conversation but declined to give details of the government’s response to the case.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, who recently expressed unhappiness about Eni’s decision to sue the government, despite closed-door meetings to resolve the issue, however, assured of his resolve to find an amicable resolution of the matter.

Eni is challenging a directive by Ghana’s Ministry of Energy, asking them to unitise the Sankofa Field and Afina oil block operated by Springfield E&P, a wholly Ghanaian upstream player.

In a statement filed by three renowned lawyers namely Craig Tevendale, Andrew Cannon and Charlie Morgan from the Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Eni is seeking five reliefs from the Tribunal.

The claimant wants the Tribunal to declare that the purported 9th April Directive, 14th October Directive, 6th November Directive and any other steps taken to implement those directives represent a breach of contract under the Petroleum Agreement.

The claimant also wants the Tribunal to declare that the respondents take no further action to implement the purported unitisation of the Sankofa Field and Afina Discovery on the terms of the purported 14th October Directive, the Draft UUOA sought to be imposed by the purported November Directive or otherwise.

The third relief the claimant is seeking is an order that the respondent pays 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 bases.

Additionally, the claimant is seeking an order that the respondent pays all of 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 on a joint and several bases and/or order such further or other relief as the Tribunal may in its discretion consider appropriate.

It would be recalled that in April 2020, Ghana’s former Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu issued a directive to Eni and Springfield E&P to begin talks and combine their adjacent oil and gas fields in April and gave them until September 18 to reach an agreement.

The Minister’s directive said that seismic data had indicated that Eni’s Sankofa offshore field, which entered production in 2017, and Springfield’s Afina Discovery had identical reservoir and fluid properties.

“Regrettably, it has become obvious that the parties do not intend to comply with the ministry of energy’s directives,” the letter signed by Minister John Peter Amewu said.

A year after the directive, both Eni and Springfield E&P have failed to unitise the Sankofa offshore field and Afina Discovery.

Springfield took the case to a high court in Accra, Ghana.

The court, in its ruling, directed Eni to escrow 30 per cent of proceeds from the Sankofa offshore field pending the final determination of the case.