A renegotiation of the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) Integrated Oil and Gas Project, which includes the combined development of the Sankofa Main, Sankofa East, Gye Nyame, Sankofa East Cenomanian, and Sankofa East Campanian fields, saved Ghana $600 million, Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah has said.
Of the five fields, the former three are non-associated gas fields while the latter two are oil fields.
The Government of Ghana signed a $7-billion deal with Italian oil firm Eni to develop the fields. The projects started in 2015. However, Ghana’s biggest opposition party, NPP, recently alleged that the deal was bloated by between $2 billion and $3 billion.
The party and its Minority in parliament raised issues with the contract during a recent visit by Italian Prime Matteo Renzi to Ghana.
Responding to the NPP’s allegations in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5fm’s breakfast show, Ghana Yensom, on Friday February 26, Mr Buah said the initial OCTP deal that was negotiated by the Kufuor administration with Vitol in 2006, left Ghana with only a 10% stake in the project.
According to him, had the current government not taken a second look at the deal through fresh negotiations and also not brought in Eni as partners to develop the fields, Ghana would have lost $600 million. He said Ghana, through the renegotiations, secured a 20% stake in the project, instead of the 10% stake negotiated by the NPP in 2006.
Mr Buah, therefore, said he was befuddled by the NPP’s claim that the contract was bloated. In his view, the NPP’s allegations were meant to embarrass the Mahama administration while the Italian Premier was in Ghana, but “they failed”.
He said the forebears of the NPP did the same thing to Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, when he was building the Akosombo Dam.
“They are always on the wrong side of history,” he said, adding: “…The over bloating charge is neither here nor there. They have no proof. I’ve challenged their assertions through a statement, but they haven’t come out to respond…they are jokers.”