The Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Board, Mr. Felix Addo has given what is surprisingly a very sorry picture of the finances of the corporation which partakes in the sharing of oil proceeds made from Ghana’s offshore oil fields, amongst other revenues.
Documents available to Atinkaonline point to the fact, at least in the opinion of Board Chairman Addo, GNPC is so broke that it cannot afford to pay for the cost of drilling wells and gathering data on the Voltaian Basin of Ghana, in search for oil and gas deposits.
The GNPC Board Chairman is reported in the official documents as arguing that the corporation is in financial difficulties due to a drop in oil prices and the temporal non-production from the Jubilee oil fields, hence the need to hold on with their Voltaian Basin activities.
Consequent to this financial distress, the GNPC Chairman has pushed for the company to stop contracting an international firm which is supposed to commence exploratory works in the hope of finding oil and gas in the Voltaian Basin of Ghana.
GNPC, we have learnt had budgeted to spend less than fifty million dollars (US$ 50m) on the search for oil and gas in the Voltaian Basin, but their Board Chairman has argued that the company is not in a position to finance the search.
Close watchers within the industry who hinted Atinkaonline are surprised that GNPC which is in the news for spending too much money in the energy sector will all of a sudden be declared so bankrupt that it cannot negotiate and pay contractors to help Ghana find oil onshore.
The experts are therefore contemplating, among other measures, on petitioning the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy to institute a probe into the finances of GNPC to ascertain how the oil proceeds have been disbursed.
“How can an oil company that has provided $550 million to set up a regasification plant and another $100 million for KarPower barge, will all of a sudden be pronounced as so broke that it cannot help itself discover oil through spending less than $50 million”, an expert speaking on condition of anonymity quizzed.
During our inquiry, sources within GNPC told Atinkaonline that the corporation is yet to commence financial negotiations with the company selected to do the search in the Voltaian Basin, therefore, the argument that there is no money to finance the project is untenable.
The official who did not wish to go on record wondered how an argument of cost can be made at a time that the companies have not tabled financial requirements.
When told that it is Mr. Felix Addo, the Chairman of the Corporation’s Board of Directors who is suggesting that GNPC is broke; the source became furious and said: “If you don’t trust me, go and ask the President who brought him here to explain. I know John (the President) or Alex will tell you the truth that we are not broke”.
Further checks indicated that GNPC is likely to entangle itself in major cases of judgment debts and possibly causing financial loss to the state, should the claim that it is broke, be proven to be untrue.
We have gathered that the international companies that competed to be given the opportunity to explore the Voltaian Basin were given the assurances that GNPC was in a sound financial position to bankroll the search.
Therefore, the decision to turn around at the closure of the process, under the excuse of ‘no money’ will be enough justification for the international companies to sue GNPC for deceit.”
These companies are believed to have located, set up offices in Ghana and invested heavily in the GNPC processes with the expectation that the Voltaian Basin 2D seismic data acquisition project will be financed by GNPC as planned.
Industry watchers are expecting dangerous times for GNPC in the coming days.