By Cecil Mensah
The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, has denied reports in the media that Gondwana has been invited to negotiate for the sale of Ghana’s crude oil at Cape Three Point South block.
It has instead invited the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate a case of forgery against a foreign company called, Miura Petroleum Limited.
The company is said to be holding a letter with the Minister of Energy, Armah Kofi Buah’s signature on it, but the Ministry has in a statement said the letter and the signatures was forged by Miura Petroleum Limited.
The false report of the sale of Ghana’s crude oil at Cape Three Point South block, was carried in the March 19 and 20, 2014 edition of the Offshore Energy Today and Ghana Oil Club daily news highlight respectively.
The report had claimed that Miura Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of Gondwana, has been invited by the Ministry to negotiate exclusively for the award of the Offshore Cape Three Point South (OCTPS) block.
But in a statement signed by Edward Abambire Bawa, Public’s Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry, categorically stated that Miura Petroleum Limited has never been invited for any negotiation over any block in Ghana’s Sedimentary basins.
Miura Petroleum Limited, the statement said on December 23, 2013 rather submitted an application for an exploration and production license over the OCTPS block, together with a cheque of US$10,000 covering the application fee.
Unfortunately, at the time of submission, evaluation of earlier applications received for that block had been completed and a decision taken. The application was, therefore, not processed for formal evaluation.
Subsequently, the Ministry, in a letter dated January 19, 2014, informed the applicant of the unavailability of their area of interest, therefore, requested the applicant to collect the cheque or to redirect the application to any available open block for consideration.
The statement said, records show that Miura Petroleum Limited has neither visited the data room to identify and review data on any available open block nor made a presentation of their company before submitting their application, as required by the process for acquiring a block in Ghana.
Mr. Bawa’s statement continued that to ensure that Miura Petroleum Limited comply with the basic requirement prior to submission of application, the Ministry had discussion with representatives of Miura Petroleum Limited, adding that based on the discussion, the Ministry in yet another letter dated March 5, 2014 invited them to do a presentation on their company and for further discussion on open blocks.
The proposed discussion was to reiterate the unavailability of their area of interest, and to entreat them to visit the data room to select any available open block if they are still interested, the statement explained.
“With respect to Gondwana, the alleged parent company of Miura, the Ministry has never had any engagements with them and therefore has no record of them”.
It disclosed that the Ministry’s attention has also been drawn to a forged letter dated September 24, 2013, purported to have been written by the sector Minster to Miura Petroleum Limited in response to a purported letter dated September 3, 2013 written by Miura Petroleum Limited to the Ministry.
”We wish to put on record that no such letter has ever been written by the Ministry to Miura Petroleum Limited or any such letter received from Miura Petroleum Limited. The company therefore forged the Minister’s signature, the Ministry’s letterhead, official stamp and reference number”, it said.
The case has, therefore, been referred to EOCO for investigation, the statement revealed.
The Ministry has subsequently written to the publishers of the Offshore Energy Today and Ghana Oil Club, requesting them to retract the article and publish the true state of the subject to the reading public to mitigate any misconception.