The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is cautioning government of an impending maritime boundary dispute with Togo over oil exploration in the East Keta Ultra Deep Block.
According to the committee – which has oversight responsibility over the prudent management of oil revenues – the Togolese authorities are disputing the existing maritime boundary on which basis a block was jointly awarded to companies to begin exploration.
It has thus urged government to take urgent steps to delineate the border and to initiate steps to start a discussion to help resolve the dispute at an early stage.
Making the recommendation in its 2017 Annual Report, the committee explained that the companies awarded the block are being intimidated by the Togolese Naval Forces anytime they attempt to explore close to the border and this meant that there was some lack of shared understanding of the limitations of the boundary.
“PIAC has noted adverse claims being made by the Togolese authorities concerning it's maritime boundary with Ghana in respect of the East Keta Ultra Deep Block and urges government to initiate urgent steps to delineate Ghana' s maritime border with Togo,” the report explained.
Parliament ratified a Petroleum Agreement for the Ultra Deepwater East Keta Block (“EK”), by and among Blue Star Exploration Ghana Limited (“Blue Star”), the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC Exploration and Production Company Limited and Heritage Exploration and Production Ghana Limited giving the partners the licence to conduct exploration in the block.
The basin is the western extension of the Dahomeyan embayment that stretches east covering Togo, Benin and Western Nigeria and ending just before the Niger Delta in Nigeria.
Oil production in 2017
According to the report, the country recorded an 82 per cent increase in oil production from the 32.3million barrels produced in 2016. A total of 58.6 million barrels of crude oil was produced from Ghana’s three production fields in 2017.
The 2017 production figure brings the total volume of crude oil produced in Ghana since commercial exploitation began in 2010 to 252.9 million barrels.
The Jubilee Field produced 32. 7 million barrels representing 56 per cent of total production. The Tweneboa Enyera Ntomme (TEN) produced 20.5 million barrels representing 35 per cent of total production while the Sankofa Gye Nyame (SGN) field which started commercial production in May 2017, produced 5.5 million contributing nine per cent of production.
A total of 77,294.44 million standard cubic feet (MMScf) of associated gas was produced from the Jubilee, TEN and SGN fields in 2017.
The Jubilee Field produced 42,261.35 MMScf, while TEN produced 26,818.33 MMScf. Gas production from the SGN Field commenced in May 2017, and totaled 7,214.76 MMScf for the year.
The total petroleum revenue paid into the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF) in 2017 was US$539.83 million, 36 per cent higher than the US$396.17 paid in 2016.
An amount of US$579,278.46 was earned as interest on undistributed funds held in the PHF during the year, making total inflow into the PHF in 2017 US$540,411,435.90.
The 2017 report also explained that an amount of US$302,634,338.36 was paid into the PHF in respect of six crude oil liftings from the Jubilee Field.
Also, US$198,666,095.13 was paid into the PHF in respect of four crude oil liftings from the TEN.