Petroleum Ministry stops Tullow plans to sack Ghanaians over oil price slump

Oil company, Tullow Ghana Limited’s move to sack Ghanaian staff because of dwindling profit has been stopped because it violates the local content policy.

In a press statement issued Wednesday, the Petroleum Ministry says it sympathizes with the “significant” revenue drop but believes the law should be respected.

It is not know how many Ghanaian staff have been chalked down for redundancy.

Oil prices has dropped from $90 per barrel to $49 gutting the national budget revenue by a $700m shortfall.

Government is revising it projections based on the deterioration oil revenue.

But Tullow, operators of the Jubilee Oil fields in Takoradi in the Western region is not expected to do the same.

A former deputy energy minister Kobina Tahir Hammond has being kicking against Tullow’s move to lay of workers arguing that even at $49 per barrel, Tullow was still making substantial profit because its cost of production is between $10 to $12 per barrel.

“I do know for a fact that in our jubilee field, production cost is between $10 and $12 per barrel…So there is no way these guys are running out of resources or production cost outstripping their revenue,” the ranking member on energy said.

The outspoken Minority Spokesperson on Energy, KT Hammond has alleged that the lead operator in the Jubilee Oilfield, Tullow Oil, is defrauding Ghana.

Read full statement from Tullow

The Ministry of Petroleum has directed Tullow Ghana Limited, the operator of the Jubilee field, not to lay-off any core technical staff in their proposed plan to layoff some workers of the company as a result of the slump in crude prices in the international market.

The Ministry appreciates the fact that, as a direct result of the reduced world market price for crude oil, Tullow Ghana Limited has seen a significant revenue reduction compared to the same revenue level last year. It is therefore understandable if the company intends reducing cost and improving efficiency.

However it is the position of the Ministry that Ghanaians playing core technical roles in the company should not be affected in the process.

In this regard, Ghanaians working in departments such as Operations, Technical Services and Planning, Project and Engineering, Well engineering and Subsurface and Exploration should not be laid-off. This will ensure that the continuous effort to build and augment oil and gas technical skills and competency among Ghanaian professionals as prescribed by the local content policy and law is sustained.

The Ministry in the meantime also directs Tullow Ghana Limited to put in mitigation measures to ensure minimal impact on employees by redeploying “employees of risk redundancy” to other areas of the business where their skills could be used.

For eventual leavers, the Ministry further directs Tullow Ghana to offer a competitive severance package and roll out placement support programmes to ensure that they transition meaningfully after leaving Tullow Ghana Limited.


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