We’ll be behaving irrationally if we don’t support GNPC to increase its ownership of oil blocks now – Dr Manteaw

Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr Steve Manteaw, has cautioned his CSO colleagues against killing GNPC’s ambition for Ghana to explore and produce its own oil.

“We will be behaving irrationally if we don’t support GNPC to increase its stake now”, Dr Manteaw stated on Newsfile.

The CSO front appears divided, with some pushing for parliament to investigate GNPC for going ahead to increase its stake in offshore blocks run by Aker Energy.

Dr Manteaw, an authoritative voice within the civil society, was categorical ‘’we don’t need a parliamentary investigation. It is just a lack of information.’’

The Executive Secretary of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Benjamin Boakye, who was also on Newsfile, had disclosed how GNPC had arranged for the independent valuers to engage CSO’s to explain how they valued the assets and also take questions.

Dr Manteaw commended GNPC for the openness and transparency they have approached discussions with civil society organisations.

He warned that unless GNPC can proceed with the arrangement, it will fail to build its own capacity to explore and produce Ghana’s oil themselves.

Parliament on Friday approved the concept for GNPC and Ghana to own more of our oil and gas resources and develop the capacity to explore and produce our own oil and gas.

The approval will allow GNPC to own significant stakes in offshore oil blocks for the first time since it was established in 1983.

Ghana’s interest in the Aker Energy and AGM blocks will increase to 47% and 85%, respectively.

GNPC has argued in its proposal to parliament that the new ownership structure will provide it and Ghana a firm ground to face the emerging energy transition in a well-prepared manner and create significant value for the benefit of the Ghanaian people.

Once finalized, GNPC Explorco, the commercial wing, would also become a joint operator with Aker Energy in both blocks through a new joint operator company, providing an opportunity for GNPC to acquire operatorship capacity to enable it to play a major role as an Exploration and Production company. 

The Executive Secretary of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Benjamin Boakye, raised questions about the GNPC’s renewed drive to increase its stake.

Speaking on Newsfile, he said, ‘’we need to have a strategic path that allows the GNPC to build the capacity that it wants to have, which we agree with and I am saying that we have supported that process for the past ten years and it has not yielded the desired results. So we need to evaluate that’’.

But Dr Manteaw insists the move away from fossil fuels which have seen the likes of ExxonMobil abandon its oil field in Ghana, presents a ‘’dire situation’’ that would require an immediate intervention such as has been proposed to allow GNPC to increase Ghana’s ownership in the two blocks operated by Aker Energy. 

Deputy Energy Minister Andrew Agyapa Messer, the MP for Sekondi, clarified that what parliament approved on Friday was just the intention to continue discussions that will ultimately give Ghanaians full control of our oil and gas resources.

He criticised some CSOs for suggesting that parliament had approved an agreement.

Source: https://www.myjoyonline.com/well-be-behaving-irrationally-if-we-dont-support-gnpc-to-increase-its-ownership-of-oil-blocks-now-dr-manteaw/