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Scramble For Ghana’s Oil   
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The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is fully positioned to buy out the Jubilee oil fields, as two giants in the business, ExxonMobil of the USA and British Petroleum (BP), are reported to be embroiled in a struggle over the country’s emerging oil industry.

The Director of Exploration at the GNPC, Mr Thomas Manu, who gave the assurance in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said, “The GNPC is fully funded to acquire the stake in the Jubilee oilfields.”

The oilfields, valued at more than $4 billion and jointly owned by Kosmos Energy, Tullow Oil Ghana Limited, Anadarko Petroleum, Sabre Oil, Ireland, the GNPC and the E.O Group, have become the target of a keen contest between Exxon and BP following the alleged decision of Kosmos to sell its one-quarter share in the project to Exxon.

In its Monday, November 30, 2009 edition, the Business Times of London reported that as the January deadline for the signing of the contract between Kosmos and Exxon approached, the battle between ExxonMobil and BP was set to intensify. “Exxon agreed in early October to pay $4 billion (£2.4 billion) for the quarter stake in the Jubilee field.” It said.

“The sale agreement struck with Kosmos Energy, the US firm, was done despite requests from the Ghanaian government to slow down process,” the paper added. Mr Manu, however, stated that he was not aware of any agreement between Kosmos Energy and any oil company and pointed out that as a partner in the oilfields, the GNPC was ready to purchase the stake. “The GNPC is looking at Ghana’s interest first, just like other companies will look at their shareholders’ interest. We are committed to ensuring that Ghanaians derived the maximum benefit from the oil find,” he emphasised.

“If a stake in a hugely prolific field becomes available for sale, the GNPC has the mandate if the acquisition of that stake will lead to an increase for the benefit of the people of Ghana,” he added.
He explained that the GNPC was mandated by law to promote the exploration, development and production of the hydrocarbon resources of the country, adding that “and in so doing the GNPC is mandated to ensure that the country derives the maximum benefit from its hydrocarbon and petroleum resources”.

He further pointed out that the GNPC also had the mandate to ensure that oil companies operated in an environmentally friendly manner, as well as transparent manner and in accordance with international standards

Currently, he said, the GNPC and Kosmos Energy were in discussions to resolve difference which arose as a result of Kosmos’ disclosure of data on the project to investors which infringed on the agreement entered between the GNPC and Kosmos.

He indicated that the GNPC and Kosmos Energy “are having a constructive resolution of the data disclosure”.“The GNPC has the mandate to ensure that the laws of the country are obeyed at all times by all companies, big or small,” Mr Manu said, and gave the assurance that those issues would not in any way hamper the smooth development of the oilfields. He reiterated the fact that commercial production of oil would begin in the last quarter of 2010.

Source: Daily Graphic

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