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Ghana's Draft Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill 2013 unfavourable and unprogressive-GIGS

The Ghana Institute of Governance and Security has urged government to take a second look at the Draft Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill 2013 in order to shift from the present regime where oil blocks are given out on concession agreements.

The Institute says after a careful examination of the Bill which has been approved by Cabinet, it observed that the Bill when passed in its current form will not inure to the benefit of the nation. The Executive Director of the Institute David Agbee said this at a day’s workshop organized for the Parliamentary Press Corps in Accra.

Parliamentary Correspondent Dominic Hlordzi reports that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill 2013 which is yet to be laid before Parliament seeks to amend PNDC Law 84 which is the currently Act regulating the offering of the nation’s oil fields. Presently government is offering the oil blocks to the oil companies under what is termed a hybrid agreement where government only takes royalties, taxes and some carried interest while the Oil companies take greater part of the oil revenue. 

The Bill according to the Executive Director of the Institute David Agbee has no remedies for the ills in the present concessionary agreements that the government entered into with the oil companies. He said the document contained unfavorable and unprogressive provisions. Mr. Agbee emphasized the need for government to revised the Bill and ensure that production sharing agreement which is widely used by oil producing countries is enshrined in the Bill saying concessionary contracts have not delivered the deserved revenues to the state. “We have considered the fiscal provisions and others provisions in the Bill and have come to the conclusion that it will never ever make Ghana derive the full maximum benefits from its oil resources that God has bestowed on us” Mr. Agbee explains.

He said in the current concessionary system Ghana earned under one-point-eight Billion Dollars in three years while the foreign companies made way with 7.590 Billion Dollars. The Executive Director of the Institute stated that at the end of March 2014 Ghana bagged 2.089 billion dollars while the foreign oil companies shipped away 8.448 billion Dollars in the name of investment and concessionary agreement.

Mr. David Agbee also asked for the review of all existing agreements to reflect production sharing agreement regimes.

A senior research officer at the Ghana Institute of governance and security Solomon Kwawukume said Ghana for the past three years lost about two billion dollars for not using production sharing agreement models in the contract with the Jubilee partners for the production of the jubilee field.He also noted that the nation is been used at a Guinea pig in Africa because investigations have revealed that newly emerging African countries into oil and gas have resisted the modern concessionary systems and are signing into production sharing agreements. we observed that the elite technocrats handling the oil and gas matters on behalf of the people are part of a conspiracy to impose exploitative system on Ghana to back the bad agreements and contracts that have inimical provisions contained in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill.

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