General News of Saturday, 5 January 2019
The Minority in Parliament has attributed the losses the country is making with regards to the Eni gas agreement to the failure of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to implement to the latter the deal negotiated by the Mahama government.
This is in reaction to accusations by the NPP that the NDC should be blamed for the $28 million monthly losses the country was incurring over the agreement negotiated by the NDC government in 2015.
But at a press conference on Friday, the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, described the accusation as a desperate attempt by the Akufo-Addo government to avoid blame.
He explained that Ghana wouldn’t have been paying such huge sums of monies if the NPP had continued from where NDC left off.
“We had taken the necessary steps to ensure that the entire infrastructure relating to the ENI project should have been in place as at June . But they [NPP] came and they did not continue from where we had left off. If Cabinet had approved an agreement, you have to continue. If they had continued with it, I don’t think we will be where we are today.”
“And today, we are paying about $28 million for no use of gas. Meanwhile, plants are in Tema which need gas to run. This is an insensitive government, they will tend not to do anything and when the challenges are staring at them, they intend point accusing fingers at NDC. We will not tolerate this any longer,” he added.
In 2015, the Government of Ghana signed the deal with the Italian oil giant, ENI and partners for the production of about 180 million cubic feet of gas for which Ghana was expected to prepare adequately to receive and utilize or pay for the agreed volume of gas even when the country is unable to consume it all.
ENI was to produce the gas from the Sankofa field in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP).
OCTP, operated by Eni Ghana, commenced operations in mid-2018, and has an agreement to produce the lean gas for onward off-take by the government of Ghana.
Earlier reports suggested that Ghana per a controversial clause in the agreement was paying $40 million monthly to ENI whether it takes the gas or not.
But the Energy Ministry rejected the report saying government was paying $28 million instead.
It clarified that the NPP government succeeded in reducing the price of gas “from US$10.15/MMBtu (in 2018 US Dollars) to US$7.89/MMBtu. Thus, compared to the price negotiated by the NDC Government, the NPP Government is saving the nation circa US$95 million annually in gas payments to the Partners.”
“The take or pay gas will cost us $40 million per month if we fail to take the entire 140 mmscfd. However, we have been taking 60mmscfd in Takoradi for power generation, which has reduced the amount of gas un-utilized to 80mmscfd. Thus, about US$28 million is being paid for gas currently not utilized. It must be emphasised though that the un-utilized gas is not lost to the State. Once capacity to offtake the gas becomes available, the Sankofa Partners will supply the un-utilized gas, which has already been paid for,” a statement from the Energy Ministry explained.