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Government is anticipating increased activities in Ghana’s oil exploration activities with the coming on board of ExxonMobil.

The Minister of Energy, BoakyeAgyarko tells Citi Business News the move will also increase government’s revenue from the sector to propel economic growth and transformation.

ExxonMobil’s investment in the oil sector becomes the first major one in Ghana following the landmark ruling by ITLOS in the maritime border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast, in September last year.

The apparent victory by Ghana gives the country an appreciable reputation among the global oil giants.

The Energy Minister, BoakyeAgyarko explains to Citi Business News the move is set to trigger further investments in the short to medium term.

“Exxon Mobil is coming in with the highest standard of safety, financial accounting and all that we need to get done as a country…we have received a lot of expression of interests from other major players; the BP, Shell, Chevron, among others. All of them are now coming to operate in Ghana,” he stated.

On his part, the CEO of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. K.K. Sarpong, stressed the enforcement of local content policies.

In his view, the plan will give Ghanaians access to opportunities in Exxon Mobil’s operations where necessary.

“In terms of local content policies, the laws have been strengthened the Petroleum Commission is at the forefront of enforcing the laws and we at GNPC have the sustainability and localization department which tries to make sure that we bring our partner’s attention to the mode of operation so that we take advantage to get benefits from our local people both corporate and individuals.”

ExxonMobil joins other operators in Ghana’s petroleum upstream sector including, Tullow, Kosmos, ENI, among others.

Exxon 4

Earlier, some industry analysts raised concern over the Energy Minister’s failure to subject the contract to competitive bidding as spelt out in the Petroleum Exploration and Production law.

Reacting to this however, the Energy Minister maintained that the negotiations started before the passage of the law, it couldn’t have taken retrospective effect.

“There were four issues which put the negotiations into abeyance; they bordered on the treatment of foreign exchange, tax issues, among others. When we came in in 2017, the company approached us again and expressed their interest to revive the negotiations with the country but outlined the need to work around the issues so it could pave the way for their operations,” he stated.

“ExxonMobil started its program of operating in Ghana before the passage of the E&P law was passed in 2016 as such the law could not take a retrospective effect,” Mr. Agyarko added.

The company is expected to start its exploration activities fully after Parliament ratifies the deal.

Ghanaian ownership is estimated at thirty percent.

This comprises 10 percent royalty to the government of Ghana while the GNPC owns 15 percent stake as Carried and Participation Interest.

Also, the local partner for ExxonMobil is entitled to five percent of the company’s stake.

By: Pius AmihereEduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

We have observed with utmost concern a news item on the various media

channels to the effect that OMCs have been diverting premix fuel meant for
fisher folks at their respective landing beaches. The over generalization and
absolute inclusion of all OMCs especially those doing genuine business in this
canker, warrant the following reaction;
1. The orders for the landing beach committees(LBCs) are allocated to the
selected OMCs by the premix Secretariat on weekly basis
2. The select OMCs on receipt of such orders contract the transporters for the
premix to be conveyed to the designated Landing Beach Committee
3. It has been observed that Landing Beach Committee’s , immediately continue
to monitor with the respective transporter prior to loading on the Bulk Road
Vehicle (BRV) until its loaded with a particular phone
4. A member of the landing beach committee then directs the driver of the
transporter of the premix fuel to the designated location for the fuel to be
discharged. It must be noted that some locations of where fuel is discharged for
a particular landing beach committee invariably does not match the name of the
landing beach committee as tank its supposed discharge units, may not be
located at the jurisdiction of the landing beach committee.
5. The OMCs duly received appropriate documents signed by an official of the
landing beach committee to connote that the product has been received in good
condition.
6. It is only when claims have been vetted by the NPA that select OMCs get to
know that it has been diverted.
7. NPA sanctions the OMC by forfeiture of the freight claims and also put a fine
against the OMCs.
8. In most cases, gruesome and painstakingly investigations by some OMCs
have revealed that, some landing beach committee members misdirect the BRV
driver to discharge to some other location with compelling reasons and duly
append their signature forthwith.
9. OMCs have no means of having a real time knowledge of diversions as they
are not privy to the interface display of the tracking device by NPA and thus act
accordingly.
10. In few cases, that OMCs have investigated, they have had cause to terminate
the contract with the transporter.

WAY FORWARD

1. The AOMCs do not and will not condone or connive with recalcitrant
players in the value chain who would like to play an unfair game to sabotage the
economy and the state efforts to have a subsidized fuel for fisher folks and will
welcome any action to forestall, as part of the actions against illegal fuel sales.
2. It is evident that we, as industry, regulators and the state need to critically
look at the motivation for such bad social enterprise (PREMIX DIVERSION)
3. As an interim measure, equip the OMCs to have a tool (interface display) so
that they can monitor the fuel and take drastic action.
4. We also believe that the weekly Orders and allocation of Premix should
be published in the Media or dailies in an open and transparent Manner

Kwaku Agyemang-Duah ( Industry Coordinator )- 1 st December, 2017

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCS) has wrapped up the 2017 Petroleum Fun Games with outstanding performance from Kabore Oil Limited sweeping five trophies and one first runner up trophy as well.

 

Kabore took away the Football, Lime and Spoon, Ludo, Draught trophies as well as the first runner up trophy for the Playing Cards and iced the good day with the Best Performing Team trophy, at the 2017 PETFUN Games held at the Burma Camp Leisure Center.

The PETFUN organized by the AOMC was to create an opportunity for Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) to drop their traditional business war and put on a new garment to engage in friendly hostilities on the playing field loaded with fun.

Other winners were: Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) who disappointingly picked only the Table Tennis trophy, Puma Energy Limited also struggled for the Volleyball trophy, whilst the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) once again exerted their will power in the Tug of War competition disposing all opposition to pick the trophy.

NPA also picked the foremost swimming competition trophy, So Energy picked the Sack Race Trophy, and Excel Oil Company Limited picked the Playing Cards trophy.

The 2017 PETFUN also witness dramatic exposure of product branding, glamour and beauty, dexterity of scores of NPA ladies who added tonic to the fun with a chorographic performance on the sidelines whilst scores of some ladies were in titillating sports outfits for the beauty of the game.

The various OMCs also invaded the center with scores of brass band and cheer groups which created a harmonious musical and dancing disorder.

The Best Female Participant gold medal went to Ms Laila Zangvio of NPA, and the Golden Boot award was picked by Mr Asamoah Boateng of Kabore.

The silver medalists were: Excel picked the Volleyball; Glee Oil Company Limited picked the Tug of War; Venus Oil Company Limited took away the Football and the Lime and Spoon; NPA the Table Tennis and Swimming; and Glory Oil Company Limited picking the Ludo.

Other silver medallists were: Frimps Oil Company Limited picked the Draught, and Cirus Oil Company Limited took the Sack Race.
Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMC Industry Coordinator told the CDA Consult in an interview that the annual PETFUN was to create avenue for staffs to exercise their bodies through fun for healthy living.

“Management should not only focus on increased productivity to push staff to the ultimate but the welfare of staff should be paramount as a healthy person is well motivated to produce with little or no supervision and motivation.

“The bane of most corporate managers is the neglect of the welfare of staff, poor working environment, creating of ivory towers where they hide and operate from as well as lack of motivation,” Mr Agyemang-Duah stated and called on those in the formal working environment to engage in regular bodily exercises.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Duah, AOMCs Industrial Coordinator commended the Oil Marketing Companies who participated in games and noted the need for oil marketing companies to build bridges and establish stronger network with other stakeholders across board.

Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) provides tailor made development communication tools necessary for operational transformation and translating dreams into achievable goals and equips clients with mechanism for public education on specific issues.

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the Press. On behalf of the Board Chairman of AOMCs, CEOs of OMCs/LPGMs present, we welcome you all to this short but important briefing. As we are all aware, the 7th October 2017 Atomic Junction Gas Explosion will go down in the history books as one nightmarish incident that has resulted in the loss of seven (7) lives and one hundred and thirty-two (132) others hospitalised as well as several properties destroyed. The Association would like to express its heartfelt and profound condolences to the bereaved families and to the affected victims of this sad and undesirable event. May we please observe a minute of silence in memory those who lost their lives!!

Ladies and gentlemen, it is unfortunate that we should witness such an incident like this notwithstanding the Association’s commitment to safety as it has embarked on an extensive safety campaign this year in collaboration with you the media as partners.

As a mark of respect for the dead, per our culture, and also to the laws of the country, the Association will not be in a haste to pre-empt or predict the findings of the team set up by the government to investigate the issue but will patiently wait for the outcome. Meanwhile, we wish to state emphatically that the Association will not in any way seek to shield any member who violates the rules and regulations of the industry especially in such a manner that endangers lives and property. What we however wish to add is that due process should be followed in dealing with whoever is found culpable.

Ladies and gentlemen, we duly acknowledge that we have the prime responsibility of making our facilities safe and secure for our numerous customers who we have served with the supply of LPG (gas) for about 30 years, and of petrol and diesel for about 100 years. In this regard, one would expect that in these tough time, we will seek to be united as a collective force to correct and prevent the reoccurrence of such incidents, as safety is a shared responsibility for operators, regulators, agencies, customers, the general public and the government.

It is however sad and disheartening to hear, read and witness a plethora of comments from some pseudo experts with no or little knowledge and understanding of the LPG industry and those who should have known better, but for reasons unfathomable, throwing dust into the eyes of the public with falsehood, half-truths and inaccurate information. Such flammable utterances, innuendos and castigations have the tendency to kill initiatives and denigrate the Oil Marketing Companies/Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (OMCs/LPGMs) who have invested in these retail outlets and have been rendering very meaningful services to the country at large.

It is common knowledge that it takes a prospective retail outlet owner more than 6 months to obtain all the necessary permits and approval prior to the commencement of the construction process with borrowed funds at high interest rates. We wish to inform the general public that the retail outlets are sited in areas zoned for the purpose by the Town Planning Department. It must be noted that NPA will only grant an applicant a construction permit when all the various requirements have been met. These include a letter from the Town Planning Department indicating that the site has been duly zoned for that activity; an EPA Permit, Building Permit by the District, Municipal, Metropolitan Assemblies, Fire Permit by Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Standards Authority certification, among others.

This should tell you that this is one of the most highly regulated industries in the country and that the Association’s Members are among the most law-abiding business operators in the country since they go through all these steps before operating.

The Association would like to add that even when outlets have been constructed and are being operated, there is continuous inspection and monitoring by the regulators and other agencies to ensure that the retail outlets are operating according to the prescribed standards of performance. Additionally, we ensure that our retail outlets are manned by qualified managers and supervisors whose responsibilities include ensuring that the day-to-day operations at the stations are safe.

Therefore, the unparalleled marauding, demonstrations against some legitimate retail outlets and hitting the “panic button” exemplified by wanton closure of retail outlets in a “Rambo style” by some unrepented MMDCEs in an industry regulated by five ministries and other regulatory bodies, is unwarranted and must be condemned with all the contempt it deserves. This has innate results of culminating in chaos and anarchy in the society and inflaming passion among the citizenry thereby creating disaffection for OMCs/LPGMs. We would like to reiterate that OMCs/LPGMs are neither “monsters” nor “criminals” but are Ghanaians making a living by legally investing in the petroleum industry. Some marketers have their administrative offices within the confines of such outlets. Therefore, our intent to have a safe operation of our outlets cannot be in doubt!! This situation rather calls for a sober deep-seated thought, thorough, unbiased and unfettered investigations to unearth the root causes and furnish the nation with sustained corrective and preventive actions which will inform the public in a positive manner whilst consolidating or improving the existing industry standards for the public safety assurance.

The downstream petroleum industry is a well guided and regulated industry in this nation of ours, with the National Petroleum Authority as the lead regulator. As indicated earlier, there are other statutory authorities such as the Town Planning Department, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), etc. whose collective duty is enshrined by the respective legal frameworks with safety and security as the core objectives. Therefore, the blame game at this stage of our national life rather exacerbates the already precarious situation.

While we wait patiently for the investigation report, we will pursue the following:

  1. Intensify the peer audit activity with priority to outlets in congested areas especially on discharge of LPG from the Bulk Road Vessels (i.e. tankers).
  2. We will continue to provide the requisite training for all our personnel especially the attendants, drivers and their mates.
  3. We will continue to explore and introduce new technology to enhance our operations in our outlets.
  4. We will intensify public education on safety in collaboration with you the media, our key partners.

For our regulators:

  1. We shall continue to work closely with them to comply with their regulations.
  2. Regarding their safety auditors, we recommend that the recruitment of the said auditors must be such that they are located in the related districts or municipalities to enhance appreciation of the requisite environments from which we operate.
  3. We also recommend that, together we continue to review the job safe procedure of transferring or discharging of products

For MMDAs

As a result of growth patterns, both economic and population;

  1. We would like to suggest that they assist to decongest areas in and around the LPG outlets since some of our LPG outlets which were initially sited far from such densely populated areas, are now being surrounded by structures and people posing danger to lives and property.
  2. Together with the Fire Service offices in the districts, periodically work with our dealers and station managers to organize emergency drills.
  3. To respect the laws that govern the industry and allow regulatory agencies duly mandated to do their work instead of interfering in their work.
  4. Government

We wish to assure government that as an industry, we are committed to improving standards in the industry and thus will support efforts in this direction.

However, we wish to respectfully indicate that new policies introduction should not be done in a rush but should be well-thought through with the buy-in of all key stakeholders such as our members since the effective and efficient implementation of such policies rests largely on us. It is the success of the policy that matters not the haste in introducing it.

Customers/ General Public:

We would also like to remind the general public that the retail outlets are confined areas hence the following must be strictly adhered to;

  1. Anyone who has no business at the retail outlets should not venture entry.
  2. No one should smoke or use combustibles materials (i.e. materials that can easily catch fire) in the hazardous area around the bullets or tanks, Bulk Road Vessels (tankers) and the fuel pumps.
  3. The engine of the vehicle to be filled should be switched off before the dispensing begins.
  4. Desist from making the retail LPG outlets a parking lot and an emergency shelter.
  5. Consumers should observe all safety signs at the retail outlets

In conclusion, we the members of the Association are willing, determined and ready to lend our support to make our outlets a safe place for all since we are committed to best industry practices.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Thank you

…………………………………………………..

KWAKU AGYEMANG-DUAH

CEO/INDUSTRY COORDINATOR

12th October, 2017

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Petrosol, a solely Ghanaian-owned Oil Marketing Company(OMC) operating more than 70 fuel stations has been adjudged the fastest growing OMC in the country by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC). 


The OMC's Marketing Manager, Akwesi Zigah was awarded the Best Marketing Personnel while Florence Nyarko also won Overall Best Pump Attendant for Petrosol. 

Receiving the awards on behalf of Petrosol, Chief Executive Officer Micheal Bozumbil expressed appreciation to the Chamber and customers, adding that Petrosol will continually work towards satisfying the demands of its customers. 

Mr. Bozumbil bemoaned the sales of adulterated products and the smuggling of sub standard fuel into the country as the major challenge confronting Oil Marketing Companies in the country. 

"Not only do these smuggled and contaminated products affect the sales and growth of OMCs in the country, it also curtails taxes paid to the government since OMCs are not making more sales as well posing damage threat to the vehicles of consumers." Mr. Bozumbil noted

He commended government's effort to combating the menace whiles urging for more to be done to mitigate the damaging effects of this practice. 

"Government's effort is commendable but more ought to be done. This is a practice that cost government more than GHC 1bn annually. So government has to be consistent with its effort" Mr. Bozumbil noted. 

He also asserted that the sale of smuggled and contaminated product displaces more than 2 million liters of Petrosol products monthly from the market costing Petrosol around GHC6million. 

Meanwhile with respect to awards, Engen Oil was awarded Best Fuel Quality for the year under review.

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