Government has inaugurated the Licensing Rounds, Bids Evaluation and Negotiation Committee to ensure open and competitive bidding for Ghana’s oil blocks.
The committee, per its terms of reference, would prepare all necessary documentation for successful bid round, access and package all the data on the acreages, set up online data room where all the data can be accessed by prospective bidders, invite bids from prospective applicants and carry out pre-qualification of applicants in line with applicable regulation.
It would also be responsible for the evaluation of qualified bids and select winners in line with transparent criteria, negotiate with the winners and provide recommendations to the Minister of Energy for the signing of the petroleum agreements.
Minister of Energy, Boakye Ajarko, in his remarks after inaugurating the committee, announced government’s plan to undertake the first bidding rounds for oil blocks at the end of this year.
He said the focus for the bidding would be on the Western Basin due to the existing infrastructure which could facilitate the development of any discovery made in the area.
“At the moment, there are two gas pipelines to shore three production facilities and all things being equal a fourth production facility will be in place by 2021. These assets will ensure quick development of hydrocarbons, maximizing value and minimizing cost,” he said.
Giving a breakdown of the prospective oil blocks which will be allocated, Mr Agyarko said nine blocks had been mapped out in the Western Basin, out of which six will be allocated this year with the remaining three that will not be allocated forming the basis for the second bidding round next year.
“Three of the blocks shall be allocated through open public competitive tender, two shall be allocated through direct negotiations and one shall be reserved for GNPC to explore in partnership with its chosen strategic partner with the view to developing its technical capacity and becoming an operator,” he said.
The sector minister observed that government was determined to identify further prospects in the Eastern, Central and onshore Volta Basins to increase the number of blocks available for allocation.
Chair of the committee, Lawrence Asangongo Apaalse, Chief Director, Ministry of Energy, thanked the minister for reposing confidence in members of the committee, stating that the committee would ensure due diligence in the discharge of its duties for the country, as well strive to increase government’s stake in the exploration of oil.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri