By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
Nine upstream companies operating in Ghana’s oil sector have failed to pay their outstanding surface rental assessment fees in 2015 totalling about US$721,199.32.
This is contained in the published Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) report on Management of Petroleum Revenues for year 2015.
PIAC established under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815) and among other things is to monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act by Government and other relevant institutions in the management and use of petroleum revenues and investment.
The companies who owed the state surface rental fees since 2015 are Saltpond Offshore Production Company operating at Saltpond Field (US$605.00); Tullow Ghana Limited operating at Deepwater Tano (US$76,434.05); AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited operating at South Deepwater Tano (US$174,100.00); and Heritage Exploration and Production Company Limited operating at Offshore South West Tano (US$7,910.96).
The rest are Heritage Exploration and Production Company Limited operating at East Keta Ultra Deepwater (US$101,215.07): Brittania U operating at South West Saltpond (US$149,397.26); UB Resources Limited operating at Offshore Cape Three Point South Block (US$55,021.92); ECO Atlantic A-Z operating at Deepwater Cape Three Point West Offshore (US$47,200.00); and Sahara Energy Field Ghana Limited operating at Shallow Water Cape Three Point (US$109,315.07).
The PIAC report stated surface rental paid in 2015 amounted to about US$465,919.73 compared to US%907,051 paid by the licenced upstream companies in 2014, representing a year-to-year reduction of approximately 49%.
According to PIAC, seven licenced upstream companies paid the amount of US$465,919.73 as their surface rental fees to the state.
The companies were Kosmos (US$17,797.20), ENI Ghana EP Limited (US$22,600.00), AMNI ITNL Petroleum Development (US$13,974.00), HESS Ghana Exploration (US$150,750.00), CAMAC Energy Ghana Limited (US$73,422.50), Medea Development INTL Limited (US$78,250.00), and amount of US$109,126.03 from a company yet to be identified by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
PIAC said the GRA must initiate the process to recover with applicable penalties all outstanding surface rentals owed by the upstream companies to the government.
“Similarly, no effort should be spared to retrieve the Oranto/Stone Energy’s indebtedness to the Government of Ghana in respect of the non-payment of the 2012 surface rental of US$67,438.36 which as at December 2015 had also accumulated penalties of US$3.46 million in accordance with Section 3(4) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA),” said PIAC.