The wait is over. Your authoritative news portal, Ghanacrusader.com after very exhaustive discussions with our lawyers is today starting the release of a secret trove of voluminous files on Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector which reveals shocking revelations of wrongdoing, confessions and cash payments to politicians of both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress in order to sign bad agreements.
Enter Mr. Kwame Pianim, acclaimed Ghanaian business economist and investment consultant. Mr. Pianim, who admitted that he was a member of the Petroleum Commission in 2016, has shamefully confessed that the current law regulating oil exploration and production in Ghana is a very bad law which will make the country earn only a pittance while foreign oil companies spirit billions of dollars away.
In a secret document chanced upon by Ghanacrusader, Mr. Pianim failed to speak publicly against the predatory Petroleum Exploration and Production Law (Act 919) which was passed midnight by Parliament under a certificate of emergency on 4th August 2016.
He wrote in a 2016 secret document, “I have been silent because I am a member of the Petroleum Commission, that has taken a position that fails to go to the heart of the issue and that I consider to be defensive and that I am not happy with.”
The current agreements and legal regimes governing Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector give the country a paltry 19 per cent of total oil produced while the foreign oil companies bag a whopping 81 per cent. This is against the provision by the United States Government Accountability Office that host countries should earn not less than 42 per cent of total oil produced.
Act 919 provides the framework for Ghana to adopt what many have come to christen as the Royalty-based Hybrid system. This is against the world-acclaimed standard Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) which works on the format akin to share-cropping in agriculture.
It is a wonder to many foreign diplomats who have told Ghanacrusader of how shocked they were for Ghana signing onto a Royalty-based Hybrid system as against Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).
Checks confirmed that countries such as South Sudan, Togo, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Benin and Eritrea all adopted PSA in their oil agreements.
Mr. Pianim, who is supposed to be a patriot and fight for Ghana’s interest as a member of the Petroleum Commission, further wrote in the secret document, “Let us be clear what my position is. I am for the introduction of PSA. The fact that the Ghana system has been under adjustment from the royalty base system to some hybrid system should be evidence enough that it is inferior to a properly structured and implemented PSA.”
In another shocking revelation of the practices of International Oil Companies (IOCs) with regards to how to compute total oil produced from wells, Mr. Pianim wrote that “Oil fields consist of wells with different yields. IOCs prefer producing high yielding wells. It is important for Petroleum Commission to ensure marginal wells are also produced. Such information is often given as confidential.”
Ghanacrusader checks reveal that a lot of underhand dealings go on at the Sankofa, Jubilee and TEN fields where production of oil is going on at the western enclave of Ghana. Recently, it was reported that the flow meter which records the volume of oil produced at the Jubilee field got spoiled and it took some years before it was repaired. During the absence of the flow meter, partners at the jubilee oil fields were using dip stick, a development some industry experts have questioned, tagging it an avenue for underhand dealings.
Confirming underhand dealings, Mr. Pianim again wrote in the secret document, “…it is difficult to monitor expenses by the IOCs especially when parliament and our Public Service make it difficult to pay market prices to hire metering and oil and gas professionals to help them man our GNPC, PCs and Tax offices to be able to monitor correctly these costs and production outputs.”
As at last year, figures released by the Ministry of Finance show that a total of 253,085,873 barrels of oil worth US$20,272,054,149 were extracted and exported by 31st December, 2017 from the three fields.
Out of the 253million barrels of crude oil worth US$20.2billion, Ghana got a paltry US$4billion including corporate tax, representing 19.86 percent while the foreign oil companies bagged a whopping US$16.2billion representing 80.14 percent.
Analysis done by a team of reporters of Ghanacrusader on documents obtained from the Ministry of Finance, Petroleum Commission and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) reveal that a whopping 13.3million barrels of oil worth US$827million from the Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa fields cannot be accounted for by the Ghanaian authorities. The discrepancy of the figures emanates from careful scrutiny and analysis of Petroleum Receipts and Distribution Reports released quarterly by the officials from 2011-2017.
Our expose of the missing oil a little over a month ago has however triggered no response from the authorities.
Currently, majority of Ghanaian media houses and practitioners have been compromised that they are unable to report on the dirty stinking deals of thievery and corruption in the upstream petroleum sector. Intelligence monitoring also reveals that a lot of the civil society organisations and think tanks have been compromised by foreign oil interests.
Ghanacrusader is however going all out with our new trove of secret documents we have chanced upon.
Stay tuned for more confessions of so-called patriots like Kwame Pianim and the big expose of politicians who have received bribes to keep quiet and sign bad oil agreements.