Russian energy company, Lukoil, has expressed some misgivings about the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) planned acquisition of stakes in Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum Ghana.
In a letter to the Energy Minister, Lukoil said it “has not been aware of and engaged in discussions of its partners to sell the stake and change the operatorship.”
This is despite it being one of the main partners in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block offshore Ghana, with a 38 percent Licence Interest and a 42.22 percent Participating Interest.
Lukoil said it wanted to be involved in key decisions moving forward.
“In order to avoid any negative consequences for the DWT/CTP project, LUKOIL shall be directly involved in the discussion of such fateful issues as (i) the solo/ acquisition of the Aker Energy’s share, (ii) the resignation of the Operator of the DWT/CTP project and appointment of a successor and (iii) further project financing plans, so as to ensure further sustainable development of the project in the interests of all stakeholders,” the letter said.
Responding to this letter on Eyewitness News, the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Benjamin Boakye, said he Lukoil had been disrespected.
“Under no circumstances could we have thought that Lukoil was not aware that this transaction was happening, and for Lukoil to have heard about this transaction in this media was simply incredible.”
“It shows that we grossly disrespected them. We didn’t see the need to even get parties on the bloc to understand the dynamics on the bloc,” Mr. Boakye said.
GNPC, through its GNPC Explorco, is allowed to participate in the upstream petroleum sector, and it plans to purchase a 70 percent stake in the South Deep Water Tano (SDWT) operated by AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited and a 37 percent stake in the Deep Water Tano/Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) operated by Aker Energy Ghana Limited.
The company will form a joint operating company with the two entities and acquire the said stakes at different agreed prices.
GNPC has already secured Cabinet approval and is seeking a $1.65 billion loan.
The company has justified the deal, saying such a partnership with the two entities is critical because of the exiting of oil majors from the country.
It said it needed to build its capacity and take up a large part of the exploration activities before Ghana’s oil reserves hit a level of terminal decline.