Ghana’s national oil company, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), will be allocated one out of the available six oil blocks which government intends to offer oil companies in the upcoming licencing and bidding round.
According to the Minster for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, a total of six oil blocks will be allocated out of the nine mapped areas in the Western Basin.
“Three of the blocks will be allocated through open public competitive tender, two will be allocated through direct negotiations and one will be reserved for GNPC to explore in partnership with its chosen strategic partner with a view to developing its technical capacity and becoming an operator,” he explained.
He added that: “The remaining three that will not be allocated this year will form the basis of our second bidding round later next year”.
Boakye Agyarko was speaking at the inauguration of the Licencing Bid Rounds Evaluation and Negotiation Committee (LBRNC), tasked to ensure effective implementation of Ghana’s first-ever licencing and bidding round – scheduled to commence in the last quarter of this year.
Among its mandate, the 19-member committee is tasked with preparing all necessary documentation for a successful bid round; access and package all data on these acreages; and set up an online data room where all the data can be accessed by prospective bidders.
Secondly, the committee is to embark on promotions and roadshows, in collaboration with the Petroleum Commission, to invite bids from prospective applicants. Also, they are required to carry out pre-qualification of applicants in line with applicable regulations and evaluate qualified bids, and select winners via transparent criteria.
Finally, the Committee will negotiate with the winners and provide recommendations to the minister for signing petroleum agreements.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Lawrence Apaalse who is the Acting Chief Director at the Ministry of Energy, thanked the minister for the confidence reposed in him and his Committee members and gave an assurance to deliver on their mandate.
“As a Committee, we assure the honourable minister that we will do a good job so as to enhance transparency as well as strive to increase government’s stake and exploitation of the resource. I urge members of the Committee and fellow colleagues to be very professional in the execution of their duties as the swearing-in statement says,” Lawrence Apaalse said.
The LBRNC comprises three groups or sub-committees coordinated by the Director for Government Relations, Patricia Assam. The technical sub-committee, which has seven members, is chaired by George Okley of the Ministry of Energy. The Commercial sub-committee and Legal sub-committee, both with six members each, are chaired by Joseph Dadzie and Anita Lokko respectively.
Boakye Agyarko added that government will continue to pursue its aggressive exploration agenda in identifying more areas of significant deposits for allocation.
“We are determined to identify further prospects in the Eastern, Central and onshore Voltaian Basin to increase the number of blocks available for allocation,” Boakye Agyarko said.
Kennedy Aryeetey Tetteh | thebftonline.com | Ghana