The battle…

…for Ghana’s oil is well and truly on. In this article titled Oil Democracy – Government of Ghana, by GNPC for the Chinese, the author lashes out at “ideological dinosaurs” who apparently have socialist moorings and are interested in buying of the 25% stake of Kosmos Energy in Ghana’s Jubilee Field, only to pass it on to the Chinese –

If Ghana were to successfully buy Kosmos, assuming we do not immediately offload it to the Chinese, our total stake will become 27.5%. Now may be I am terrible at Mathematics, but if one partner (Ghana) cannot afford 2.5% of all costs associated with development and production, how can that partner now afford 27.5%? As an example, our portion of an FPSO-like development and production costs would be $247.5 million. We could not afford to pay $23.5 million but we can afford to pay $247.5 million? Just who do these ideological dinosaurs think they are fooling?

This seemed to have been the dominant stance of the government, in reaction to Kosmos’ attempt to sell off its stake directly to ExxonMobil. GNPC in particular, was opposed to this move, accusing Kosmos of having violated its contract and the government backed the national petroleum corp, on the grounds of strategic national interest

GNPC’s position is that Kosmos broke Ghana’s law by selling Ghana petroleum data. They make references to the Petroleum exploration and production law, PNDC Law 84,section 8 which states that “ A petroleum agreement entered into under this Law shall not directly or indirectly be assigned in whole or in part , by the holder of such agreement to another person without the prior consent in writing of the secretary.”

In an apparent change of heart, Ghana has now invited ExxonMobil to submit a proposal to buy off Kosmos’ stake. Waiting now for the Chinese to up the ante…

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