There appears to be a tussle between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) over the seven per cent shares in Jubilee Oil Holding Limited (JOHL) which was formally held by Anadarko Offshore Holding Company.
Although the GNPC paid $164 million for the seven per cent stake following the exit of Anadarko from the TEN and Jubilee fields, PetroSA remain unhappy with the arrangement and threatening to go for arbitration to settle the matter.
This is because PetroSA believe as a shareholder of JOHL, they also had the right to purchase the seven per cent shares under the Petroleum agreement.
Speaking to the media in Accra, the Board Chair of GNPC, Freddie Blay, said it was to avoid the matter going for arbitration that he suggested at one of their meetings that instead of one party having all the seven per cent share to itself, why don’t they split it into 3.5 per cent each to settle the matter amicably.
Giving details on the tussle for the shares, he said PetroSA being a shareholder of JOHL was also entitled to the seven per cent shares following the exit of Anadarko and made that intention clear.
“There was a seven per cent interest in JOHL which government through GNPC decided to acquire but this seven per cent forms part of shares that Anadarko had decided to leave. When you decide to sell your shares in a conglomerate, other members of the shareholding have the first right of refusal.
“PetroSA who has been a long time shareholder of JOHL identified that there were also interested in the available shares and they insisted that under the petroleum agreement they are also entitled to it so they made a bid for it but we took it all and they appear not to be happy with it and eventually they may have to go to arbitration for it to be decided.
“As Board Chair, I thought it was rather best to meet them and decide on something. We had a couple of meetings and I proposed to them that if need be, the seven per cent that they are talking about instead of them taking it or we taking it, let’s split it,” he explained.
He said he made it clear that should that be agreed on, it would still be subject to approval from the Minister of Energy.
Mr Blay said assertion by some Civil Society Organisations that he was single handedly seeking to sell share of the GNPC to a foreign company was therefore unfair.
“The Minister had already indicated to me that they will not do that so I asked him to deal with his counterpart minister in South Africa while I also deal with the South African chairman,” he stated.
He said GNPC was still engaging the Minister and PetroSA on the way forward.