We the Members of the Association of Chiefs and Queens for Justice, Peace and Reconciliation from the Southern Sector of the Volta Region, after a careful study of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill, 2014, have the following observations to make:
1. That the Bill is based on the Modern Concession or Modern Royalty Tax System Law, which we believe, would not yield much benefit to our dear country Ghana.
2. That the existing and governing laws of the Upstream Petroleum Industry in the country are the PNDC laws 64 and 84 which are based on the Production Sharing Agreement.
3. That the Model Production Sharing Agreement of 1995 between the Ghana Government, the GNPC and the Contractor, was based on these two PNDC laws, 64 and 84.
4. That, records available at Oxford Institute of Energy Studies and Barrow Company Inc. indicated that earlier agreements entered into by Ghana before 2000 based on these laws (PNDC laws 64 and 84) were Production Sharing Agreement or Contracts.
5. That one of such Contracts is “Production Sharing Contract between the Government of Ghana, GNPC and Santa Fe Energy Resources of Ghana in respect of Blocks Onshore and Offshore Keta Basin.” This was dated 25th June, 1997.
6. That we have noticed with chagrin, that agreements and contracts entered into since 2000 and approved by Parliament are modeled to suit Modern Concession Laws which are not in existence in our statute books.
7. That the implication of passing this Bill into law will mean taking away all the sole rights and controls granted GNPC under PNDC Laws 64 and 84 and place the ownership of the Oil Blocks in private hands contrary to Section 1 (I) of PNDC law 84, Article 257, Section 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and the 1962 UN General Assembly Resolution on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources (GRA 1803), and Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of State. (GRA 3281) 1974.
8. That, our investigations revealed that newly emerging African countries into Oil and Gas have signed onto the Production Sharing Agreement and not the Modern Concession – Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Tanzania and Togo, who are also frontier Nations yet to start production signed into Production Sharing Agreements.
9. That Tullow, the major player in the industry in Ghana, is comfortable entering into Production Sharing Agreements with Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cote D’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
10. That it is noteworthy, 81 countries in the World with 34 in Africa producing Oil and Gas, according to our investigation signed into the Progressive and Equitable Production Sharing Agreements.
11. A scratch on statistics revealed that if Ghana were operating under the Production Sharing Agreement, she would have earned US$6.428billion at the end of December 2014 instead of the US$2.75billion earned during the same period.
12. That Ghana is bound to lose over US$40billion of oil revenue from the Jubilee Fields alone if this Bill is passed to give retrospective legal backing to all agreements and contracts entered into.
13. That in view of the afore-stated observations we wish to call for the withdrawal of the Bill and the subsequent review of all contracts and agreements so far entered into by Independent Experts to reflect Production Sharing Agreements Fiscal Regime and to conform to the tenets of the existing and subsisting laws on our statute books.
14. That we want to make a passionate appeal to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy to refer the Bill back to Government for reconsideration.
15. That finally, it would be in place that a platform be created for all stakeholders of the country to express their views on this very important National Issue which borders on Economic Survival and Destiny of Ghana.
Long live Ghana’s Oil and Gas and God Bless Our Home Land Ghana
Torgbi Adzofia V, Chairman
Torgbi Doklo Akumsa VI