Ignore Mahama’s claim there’s lack of additional activity in TEN, Sankofa by NPP gov’t due to greed – Energy Ministry

Ministry of Energy has said former President John Mahama’s claim that his government bequeathed to the Akufo-Addo gov’t two new oil fields, TEN and Sankofa but due to greed and ineptitude the government has not added additional production activity in the upstream oil sector in the last seven years is false.

Mr Mahama in a tweet on Monday, 6 February 2023 had said: “Wasted years! We bequeathed to the Akufo-Addo gov’t two new oil fields, TEN and Sankofa. Greed and ineptitude as against national interest means a sad reality of no additional production activity in our upstream oil sector in the last 7 years.”

But the Energy Ministry in response said Mr Mahama’s assertion cannot be supported by available facts and, therefore, must be treated with the utmost contempt it deserves.

In a statement, the ministry said under the Akufo-Addo-led government, Ghana has seen an unprecedented wells drilling from all exploration wells drilled from 2017 to date.

It noted that out of seven exploration wells, it successfully drilled six. These discoveries are Aker’s Pecan South East (2018), AGM’s Nyankom-1X (2019), Springfields’s Afina-1X (2019), Eni’s Akoma-1X (2019), Eni’s Eban-1X (2021), Eni’s Aprokuma-1X (Albian and Cenomanian discoveries) (2022).

According to the ministry, all these discoveries with the exception of Springfields’ Afina-1X which is utilized with the Sankofa-Gye Nyame Field and Aker’s Pecan South East, which is part of the Pecan Project; are at various stages of appraisal by the respective International Oil Companies (IOCs) which operate them within time limits provided for in their respective Petroleum agreements and the laws of Ghana.

The statement advised Mr Mahama to take note that the restrictions on the movements of persons and other associated impacts of covid-19 pandemic resulted in a two-year freeze on oil exploration for new discoveries and appraisal of existing discoveries in Ghana.

It further reminded Mr Mahama that for the period 25th April 2015 to 23rd September 2017, the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) imposed provisional measures in the matter of the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The said provisional measures included an abstention from undertaking any new drilling and acquisition of new data in the disputed area. Thus, for the period 25 April 2015 to January 6 2017, of the John Mahama presidency, there were no activities in oil blocks in respect of new drilling of oil wells and acquisition of seismic data to aid Ghana in exploration activities for new discoveries in the disputed area.

“Will it be fair for Ghanaians to blame John Mahama for wasting 21 months of his presidency in the face of extenuating circumstances like the ITLOS provisional measures?” the ministry asked.

It added that “it is in the same vein that Ghanaians will not expect John Mahama to count the two-year freeze on oil and gas exploration and production activities in Ghana due to Covid-19 against the Akufo-Addo government.”

The Ministry pointed out to Mr Mahama and his followers that on average, it takes a minimum of five years from discovery to first oil for a deep-water oilfield to be developed to production status, thus, the so-called waste of time allegedly by Mr Mahama is premised on his poor or no understanding at all of the upstream oil industry.

The statement indicated that on the other hand, under the Mahama presidency, at least 11 petroleum agreements were signed before he left office but none of these 11 is producing oil as of today.

“This is a shameful record of John Mahama which he and his followers cannot justify under any circumstances.”

The Ministry disclosed that in attempts to revive petroleum activities, it has terminated four of such John Mahama petroleum agreements and made them available to prospective investors.

Source: Modern Ghana