Anadarko-Total SA deal US$500m tax demand from gov’t legitimate

Former Deputy Energy Minister, and Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond has justified government’s tax demand of US$500m from Anadarko, a multinational petroleum company that has operated in the country for about 13 years.

Anadarko is in the process of selling off its operations in Ghana to French oil company, Total SA, but has refused to pay the stated amount as it insists that it does not owe the state any outstanding taxes, a situation which has held up the conclusion of the proposed sale.

However, in an interview with media, the former deputy minister stated that per the assessment of the transaction, Anadarko owes the state the said amount and ought to pay.

“What the government is saying is very simple, pay our taxes and you can go. The asking price is small (US$500m), pay up and you can go; but they [Anadarko] say they will not pay. I have their letters indicating that they will not pay.  By our calculations they benefitted to the tune of US$4.5bn over the period that they have been here,” Mr. Hammond said.

According to him, the company has been making US$1million per day since they started their operations in Ghana about 13 years ago, therefore the US$500million tax demand is not out of place.

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“What we are saying is very simple, they have made so much–US$1m as profit per day for 13 years, you are going now, give us, out of the 13years, one year. Is that a bad deal,” he asked.

Sale of Anadarko’s Africa operations

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is an independent exploration and production company that has interest in oil and gas fields in US, Gulf of Mexico, East and West Africa, Algeria, China, Alaska, and New Zealand among others.

Last year, the decision to sell its high quality but less strategic African operations – Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa – to Total S.A for $8.8 billion was part of the process for the acquisition of the company by Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

Anadarko has been operating in Ghana since 2006 and owns 24 percent of the West African country’s first oil field, Jubilee Field, discovered in 2008. It also has 17 percent stake in the Tweneboah-Enyera-Ntomme (TEN) oil and gas project, which poured its first oil in August 2016.  Anadarko is estimated to have realized up to US$4.4 billion from its operations in both fields so far.

The Ghana Revenue Authority, which is part of the team assessing the Anadarko-Total S.A. deal, notes that it translates into about US$1million revenue per day for the number of years the oil giant has been operating in the country.

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