The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) is pushing for a major revision of the 41-year-old law that established the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

According to the committee, the Provisional National Defence Council Law (PNDCL) 64, which created GNPC in 1983, no longer fits the realities of Ghana’s thriving upstream sector.

In its latest issue paper published on its website, the PIAC said the legislation must be updated to address GNPC’s challenges, make it efficient within the sector as well as align with modern international industry standards.

The paper said “the law was es­tablished at a time when there was no petroleum activity and GNPC was used as a special purpose vehi­cle (SPV) to begin prospecting for economic activities in the industry.

The industry has since that time evolved into a thriving one with three production fields (Jubilee, TEN, Sankofa), as well as new fields coming on stream (Jubilee South-East) and several other off­shore explorations at various stages of development and onshore exploration (Voltaian Basin).”

According to PIAC, the review of the law would strengthen the core business of GNPC by opti­mising operations to enhance effi­ciency, productivity, and reliability, while reducing costs and emissions.

It said it would also help the corporation diversify into new en­ergy sectors, including renewables and low-carbon technologies, to leverage existing capabilities, access new markets, and improve envi­ronmental, social, and governance performance.

Additionally, PIAC said the review would transform GNPC into energy providers by offering integrated energy solutions like electricity generation, distribution, and energy management to meet evolving market demands and expand the corporation’s role in the energy sector.

Another critical concern highlighted by PIAC is GNPC’s time-limited funding from the Petroleum Holding Fund (PHF), cautioning that GNPC must ur­gently strategise to ensure financial sustainability.

According to the Petroleum Rev­enue Management Act (PRMA), GNPC’s access to PHF funds will cease after 15 years from the start of commercial production, set to end in 2026.

The issue also criticised delays in releasing PHF funds to GNPC, leading to difficulties meeting financial obligations to joint venture partners, evident by partners lifting GNPC’s share of crude oil, thereby impacting the corporation’s financial perfor­mance.

According to PIAC, GNPC’s balance sheet was burdened by substantial guarantees and receivables owed by the govern­ment and state-owned entities, amounting to over $1.14 billion which should be urgently recov­ered to enable the corporation work effectively.

PIAC also raised concerns about GNPC’s governance struc­ture, where the board’s appoint­ment is solely controlled by the resident on the Energy Minister’s advice, explaining that such struc­ture exposes GNPC to political in­fluence, potentially compromising technical competence and strategic direction.

As GNPC faces these challenges, PIAC stressed the critical necessity of revising the legal framework and enhancing institutional capacity to enable GNPC to function as a robust standalone operator.

Failure to address these issues, it said, could impede Ghana’s ability to maximise its hydrocarbon resources amid the global energy transition.



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