A total of 10 International Oil Companies (IOCs) owe Ghana surface rental fee arrears of $2.77million, the 2022 semi-annual Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) report, has revealed.
Of the outstanding debt, $1.7 million, representing 62.30 per cent, is owed by four companies whose Petroleum Agreements (PAs) were terminated by the Petroleum Commission, in 2021, for non-performance.
Apart from operators of the Sahara Energy Fields Ghana Limited, which has made part payment of $71,934m during the period under review, the three others – Swiss African Oil Company Limited, UB Resources and Brittania U have not shown commitment to pay their debt.
The remaining of $970,942 areas is owed by six companies whose PAs are operational ; GOIL Offshore , $147,400; EcoAtlantic, $44,882.00; Springfield Exploration and Production,$84,086.58; Medea Development $156,540.00; Base Energy Ghana Limited, $800.00; OPCO Offshore $537.869.
The Chairman of PIAC, Professor Kwame Adom-Frimpong, gave highlight of the report, which covers the management and use of petroleum revenues for January –June 2022at a press briefing, in Accra, yesterday.
Expressing worry about the continued increase in Surface Rentals outstanding, he said at the end of Half-year 2022, the balance outstanding of $2,774,702.29 constituting an increase of 7.58 percent on the surface rentals of $2,579,170.21, at the end of 2021.
Prof.Adom-Frimpongasked the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to intensify its efforts at collecting surface rental arrears in addition to any new assessment before the end of the year.
“To enable GRA assess and collect revenues from IOCs before they exit Ghana, the Minister for Energy is encouraged to inform GRA and other relevant institutions before the termination of PAs,” he said.
According to the report, total estimated Surface Rentals from all 14 existing Petroleum Agreements for 2022 amounted to $882,655.23.
On the outstanding $2,579,170.72 in Surface Rentals from both existing and terminated PAs as at end of 2021, total Surface Rentals receivable in 2022, was estimated at $3,461,825.95.
According to the report, the total outstanding payments and guarantees by Ghana National PetroleumCorporation (GNPC) on behalf of other State-owned enterprises amounted to US$636.46 million, excluding payments expected from gas sales, as at the end of June.
It said the GNPC continues to budget for recoveries from receivables (US$183.47 million in 2022 and US$126.68 million in 2021), but no recoveries were made as at the end of the period under review.
To avert the trend, Prof.Adom-Frimpong asked Parliament to give more attention to GNPC’s budget and ensure that the Corporation’s budget is based on realistic estimates of expected revenue.