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MAHAMA SPENT $95m ON “GHOST” OIL WELLS

Politics

It has emerged that a whopping US$95 million equivalent of taxpayers’ money was spent by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government between 2013 and 2016 on oil exploration activities which were never operationalised.

It has emerged that a whopping US$95 million equivalent of taxpayers’ money was spent by the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government between 2013 and 2016 on oil exploration activities which were never operationalised.

 

According to Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy, the NDC government signed 13 petroleum contracts with various companies to drill 14 wells.

It eventually spent $95m on these companies even though there was virtually nothing to show for the amount spent.

In all, a total sum of $890m was supposed to have spent, as stated in the contract, to make various new oil well prospects operational.

Dr Amin Adam disclosed this to journalists last week when he joined his boss, Energy Minister John Peter Amewu, at a press conference to respond to claims by IMANI Africa that, among other things, the Norwegian oil exploration and production company Aker Energy is engaging in illegal operations.

Aggressive exploration

“The contracts that have led to discoveries in Ghana were the ones signed under J A Kufuor,” he said.
“Thirteen contracts were signed under our opponents, the highest [number of oil] contracts ever signed under any government in Ghana.
“The 13 companies were supposed to drill 14 wells but as we speak to you not a single well has been drilled. And so, when Aker Energy is drilling wells and someone is engaging in semantics ‒ this is exploration wells, this is appraisal wells … Drilling a well is not easy,” Dr Amin Adam said.

The Deputy Energy Minister further said the Akufo-Addo government has decided to pursue aggressive exploration to increase Ghana’s oil reserves and production.

IMANI insists

Meanwhile, IMANI has remained impervious to calls to concede that it erred in claiming that Ghana stands to suffer the potential loss of $30 billion if the government does not negotiate a new petroleum agreement with Aker Energy.

At a press conference last week, IMANI further claimed that its checks show that Aker Energy is exploring oil wells not captured in the existing petroleum agreement it has with the Government of Ghana, and describe the Norwegian company’s operations as illegal.

However, the Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, said IMANI’s statements cannot be substantiated.

He said Ghana rather stands to benefit from the advanced technology Aker Energy is using for its operations.