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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prez Mills, top advisers meet on Kosmos

President John Evans Atta Mills
President John Evans Atta Mills
President John Evans Atta Mills yesterday held high-level meetings with his economic, legal and energy advisors aimed at bringing a closure to the sale of Kosmos's stake in the Jubilee Oil Field.

Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, a source close to the meeting told the Daily Graphic that it had gone on well and there had been indications that the matter would be resolved urgently and decisively.

It said in the wake of a purported sale and purchase agreement between Kosmos and ExxonMobil, President Mills decided to meet his advisors to resolve the matter in the national interest.

The source gave the assurance that the matter would be treated in a fair and objective manner, saying that the strategic national interest would override all other considerations.

Meanwhile, the government has requested ExxonMobil to provide a comprehensive proposal for study on whether it seeks the utmost interest of Ghanaians should it be given the opportunity to acquire the shares of Kosmos Energy in the Jubilee Field.

The decision was arrived at after a government team, led by the Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, had met top officials of ExxonMobil in Accra last Tuesday.

The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was tailored towards paving the way for negotiations to commence between the government and ExxonMobil on the latter's intention to acquire the shares of Kosmos Energy in the Jubilee Field.

In an interview in Accra yesterday, Dr Oteng-Adjei gave the assurance' that the government would not do anything to plunge the country's oil resource into a mess.

Last week, the government rejected the sale and purchase agreement entered into between Kosmos and ExxonMobil in which the former sought to offload its shares in the Jubilee Field to the latter.

A government spokesman said the sale agreement breached legal procedure because the prior consent of the government had not been sought.

Expatiating on the meeting, Dr Oteng-Adjei said the interaction between the government and ExxonMobil was a process which 'had just begun to ensure that the acquisition of the shares of Kosmos Energy would benefit Ghanaians,

He appealed to Ghanaians to exercise restraint and not conclude that the government had started dancing ,to the tune of ExxonMobil.

He said the government had nothing against ExxonMobil and that all it wanted was for due diligence to b"e followed and every transaction made transparent.

He debunked the notion that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) could not raise money to buy the shares of Kosmos Energy, asking, , _ "If a company can raise money to buy Kosmos Energy's shares in the Jubilee Field, why can't a whole country like Ghana do same?'"

Dr Oteng-Adjei said at the end of the process which the government had begun with ExxonMobil, a final decision would be taken and communicated to Ghanaians,

Earlier in the year, the government had raised issues with Kosmos over its private arrangement to sell its shares without following due process and its contractual obligations to Ghana.

It was also concerned about the action by Kosmos not to open up to other companies that had shown interest in the Jubilee Field.

Section 22 under Part III of PNDC Law 84, the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Law 1984, on the rights and obligations of contractors and sub-contractors provides: "A contractor or sub-contractor shall not assign, enter directly or indirectly, his rights and obligations under a petroleum sub-contract, in whole or -in part, to a third party without prior written consent of the secretary.”

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

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