A one-time board chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Ato Ahwoi, has disclosed circumstances under which the United States embassy in Accra denied him a visa years ago.
He linked the incident to his refusal along with two others to allow Kosmos Energy to proceed with a US$4 billion sale of a stake in the Jubilee Oil Fields in a deal with American oil giant, Exxon Mobil.
He related the story of how himself, then Energy Minister, Oteng-Adjei and Charles Wereko Brobbey had staved off pressure from the Americans to sell the stake during a meeting in the United States.
“In 2010 or 11, a team and I went to the US to go and negotiate with them on buying the shares of Kosmos. Kosmos wanted to sell the shares to ExxonMobil, we said we wouldn’t sell to them.
“Myself, Oteng-Adjei and Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, we said we shouldn’t sell to them and our reason was simple. ExxonMobil is so big that if you sell our small oil to them, which was estimated to be about 200,000 barrels per day, they would just warehouse it,” he recounted.
He continued that that meeting involved then oil executive, Tillerson, who later became a Secretary of State under Trump’s presidency, the meeting noted had ended abruptly before the delegation returned to Ghana.
On the reason that the delegation refused to sell the shares, he said: “Because they were dealing with 2 million to 10 million barrels a day. So, we said no – no – no, we cannot give it to these people, we will take it ourselves and see what we can do.
“I came back here, we were supposed to go back in a month, then I realized that my US visa had expired. I applied, and then the Embassy people said they had rejected me. I was bounced,” he told Nana Aba Anamoah of GHOne TV in an exclusive chat.
According to a 2010 report by the Wall Street Journal vis Dow Jones, the government of Ghana blocked the estimated a $4 billion sale of a stake in a huge oil field, foiling months of talks between potential buyer Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and the stake's owner, Kosmos Energy LLC.
The government accused Dallas-based Kosmos of putting Ghana's state-run oil company out of discussions about the field's development and then sharing information about the field with potential buyers without government permission. The government in recent months itself has scouted for partners to work with Ghana's oil company, including state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp, the report added.
It continued that the then Energy Minister Joe Oteng-Adjei had stated that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation would be the only entity allowed to buy the Kosmos stake in the so-called Jubilee field.
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