His comments comes after findings from the Public Interest Account Committee (PIAC) Report on management of petroleum revenues for the year 2015 revealed that an amount of US$ 1.81 million (representing 1.43% of total ABFA allocation to GNPC) was spent on the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast as against US$ 782,407 spent by GNPC in 2014 on the international arbitration.
Speaking exclusively to the Business Republic during a training workshop to review PIAC’s Report organised by the Institute for Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) in partnership with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), Dr
Steve Manteaw who is also a member of PIAC’s technical committee warned that if the country’s oil company continuous to pay for cost that are supposed to be borne by the state, not only will it affect its financial standing but will also make it uncompetitive on the global level hence losing out on becoming an international oil player.
According to him although GNPC has an interest in getting the dispute on the maritime boundary settled amicably, there were other players outside the oil industry who should have been part of bearing the cost.
“I do know that GNPC has an interest in getting the matter settled, but the interest should not start and end only with GNPC , Fishery commission should also have an interest because it also border on fishing rights, what was the contribution of the Fishery Commission to settling the issue?” he quizzed.
Meanwhile the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation in a release reacting to the PIAC’s report has stated that the issues emanating from the Maritime Boundary dispute with Cote D’Ivoire could have a major impact on the entire oil and gas industry in Ghana hence the need to support the process to ensure Ghana wins its case.
“Ghana has a strong case at the arbitration and so we have to ensure that we make the necessary representations ensure we secure the expected outcome for Ghana. The increases in costs are a result of required increased activity in 2015,” the Corporation added in its release.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire went to the International Tribunal for the Law of The Sea (ITLOS) over the demarcation of the maritime boundary between them.
Following Ghana’s petition to ITLOS on the issue which had defied resolution at sub-regional and regional levels, Cote d’Ivoire filed an injunction appeal to the Tribunal to, among other things, direct Ghana to take all steps to suspend all ongoing oil explorations and exploitation operations in the disputed area.
The tribunal however ruled in April, last year, that Ghana could proceed with on-going field development projects in the disputed area.
It directed however that Ghana must ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control took place in the disputed area.
Source: Nana Appiah Acquaye