The below article was published in Business & Financial Times:-
GNPC seeks bigger oil stake
By Basiru ADAM – 24 April 2013
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has said that it is using the South Deepwater Tano oil block as “the launch-pad” for its Joint Operating Companies strategy aimed at winning a bigger stake in oil licences for the country.
Speaking at the 4th Ghana Summit on Oil and Gas, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye, CEO of GNPC, said through a competitive online data-room bid process in 2012, the GNPC selected the AGM consortium led by AGR of Norway as its strategic partner of the project.
Over 30 million US dollars, he said, has already been spent on the project; and a Petroleum Agreement, which is awaiting Cabinet and Parliamentary approval, has been negotiated that incorporates “ a significant commercial interest” in addition to the normal Initial and Additional participating Interest for a GNPC Exploration and Production subsidiary.
The subsidiary, he said, will together with AGM form a Joint Operating Company that will hold the commercial interests hitherto held solely by international oil companies.
“This gives GNPC and Ghana a stronger position in exploration and production than we have ever held in the past,” he said.
The corporation, he added, is in the process of negotiating another petroleum agreement with two other strategic partners covering acreage in the ultra-deepwater Keta Basin under the same framework.
Although it is not clear in percentage terms by what margin the country’s commercial interest will increase under the new strategy, the GNPC sees the move as much more rewarding than the unincorporated alliance model whereby international oil companies keep the lion’s share of resources.
Government has said it is repositioning the GNPC for it to focus on its commercial role and leave the regulatory function to the newly-formed Petroleum commission.
In line with this, the GNPC says it aims to become the dominant domestic operator within 10 years and a global player within the next 20 years.
Going forward, the GNPC’s global operating capacity will be developed through the framework of Joint Operating Companies (JOCs) in strategic alliance with world-class operators, Nana Asafu-Adjeye said.
“This way, we will acquire not only skilled individuals as we did in the past, but entire functional systems. GNPC personnel will grow within and eventually take over operational and corporate management of JOCs in planned phases,” he said.