Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Ghana: Row Over Sale of Shares to Exxon - Kosmos Breaks Silence
26 July 2010
The protracted feud between Kosmos Energy, a partner in Ghana's jubilee oil fields and the Government of Ghana could be heading for an interesting climax, as the former, in its first public statement on the controversy surrounding its proposed sale of shares to Exxon Mobil, has stated emphatically that it breeched none of the contractual agreement with government.
"We have consistently complied in good faith with all of the Petroleum Agreements and all of the nation's laws," Kosmos said in a statement issued on the issue.
Kosmos planned to sell its interest to ExxonMobil in a deal valued at $4 billion, but the deal has since been opposed by the government of Ghana, who have accused Kosmos of breaking the contractual laws, by illegally sharing data with a third party.
Additionally, government has insisted on its first right of purchase, stating that it has mobilized funds to take up Kosmos shares if it was ready to sell, but what seemed to have broken the camel's back was a recent letter by Kosmos, asking for government's approval of a sale and purchase agreement it has with Exxon.
This, government described as provocative and is in total contravention with the laws of the land, and has vowed to resist any attempt by Kosmos to sideline it in the deal.
But Kosmos, in its statement denied breaching any such law, adding that it has worked in the ambits of the law. "That's why it has been so disturbing to see recent press report that Kosmos has somehow breached Ghanaian law and its contractual obligations through the disclosure of data and information to third parties, reports that are totally unsubstantiated and without any basis in actual fact," the company noted.
"The simple and clear truth is that Kosmos is in full compliance with all of its legal and contractual obligations."
According to Kosmos it had "tried on many occasions over the last year or more to resolve concerns over data with GNPC, although without progress".
It added that the company will continue to abide by its legal and contractual obligations and hope that all parties to the process will respect due process and fair treatment under the law. "Kosmos remains committed to seeking an amicable and mutually acceptable resolution which offers a win-win outcome that is in the best interests of all parties and the country as a whole."
Meanwhile, close observers of the deal say they would not be surprised if the matter end in the law courts for settlement.
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