Energy Ministry responds to LUKOIL’s claim of not being engaged by Aker in sale of oil blocks
The Ministry for Energy has responded to the LUKOIL’s claims of not being engaged in plans by oil major, Aker Energy, to sell 37 percent stake in the DWT/CTP oil blocks.
The response by the Ministry follows a letter addressed to the Presidency and copied the Ministry of Energy, Finance Ministry, Aker Energy and the GNPC on the planned acquisition of the oil blocks by the GNPC.
In the letter, LUKOIL asserts that it has not been aware of and engaged in discussions of its partners to sell the stake and change the operatorship, despite it being one of the main partners in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block offshore Ghana, with a 38 percent Licence Interest and a 42.22 percent Participating Interest.
The Russian oil firm, in the letter further asserts that the planned acquisition of the oil blocks poses significant risks to the project execution of the oil blocks adding that to avoid any negative consequences for the DWT/CTP project, LUKOIL going forward should be involved in the following;
(i) the sale/acquisition of Aker Energy’s share
(ii) the resignation of the Operator of the DWT/CTP project and an appointment of a successor
(iii) further project financing plans so as to ensure further sustainable development of the project in the interest of all stakeholders
Reacting to the statements made by LUKOIL in the letter, the Ministry stated that, “We wish to formally acknowledge your comments regarding the proposed transaction between Aker Energy/AGM and GNPC and to reiterate our appreciation of the long-standing relationship with Lukoil.”
“We can confirm that GNPC has the necessary financial backing and technical competence to acquire the stakes under discussion and to participate in the operator company, which will remain unchanged.”
The Ministry further allayed the oil company’s fears that the project execution and schedule will be put at significant risk by the proposed transaction.
“On the contrary, at the successful completion of the transaction, GNPC Explorco will become a 40% shareholder in the operator Joint Venture Company. As such, there will be no resignation or change of operator.”
The Energy Ministry further indicated that the acquisition transaction is still at its early stages and currently under negotiations, adding that Lukoil and Fueltrade will be engaged at the appropriate time.
“It is expected that at the appropriate time, Aker Energy Ghana Limited and GNPC will engage with Lukoil and Fueltrade in accordance with the JOA,” noted the Ministry.