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Is the US after Ghana’s oil at all cost?

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OilGhana is on the path of becoming an oil producing country, and there is no doubt about that.

Some oil industry watchers predict that in the next five years, Ghana will be a small oil producer though, but a significant player in the industry.
But it appears a section of the US media thinks that America has a right to take charge of the country’s oil come what may.

In recent times some publications in the Wall Street Journal and particularly Forbes.com have sort to impugn the integrity of Ghana and to question the country’s sovereignty.

One of the articles on Forbes actually went to the extent of accusing President Obama of being responsible for an American power company losing an energy contract to build 130-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant at Aboadze in the Western region.

Meanwhile, a ghanabusinessnews.com investigation of this power project contract revealed that there was no contract at all that has been awarded to HPI. Indeed, ghanabusinessnews.com communicated with officials of HPI by telephone and by email and their responses were included in the report that was published on April 16, 2009.

It is curious therefore, that the Forbes article will seek to link the failure to award a contract that never was to Obama’s doing.

Indeed, in the said report ghanabusinessnews.com spoke to the Canadian Embassy officials in Ghana, and they denied their government’s involvement with any such contract, and yet this Forbes article is mentioning the Canadian government again.

In another recent article by one J. Peter Pharm, the Forbes went overboard with the headline “The African nation flirts with China on a major energy deal.”

Well, Ghana has the right as a sovereign nation to choose who the country does business with. Period.

And this seemingly disrespectful article is making reference to the country’s refusal to allow the ExxonMobil-Kosmos Energy deal to have gone through.  The facts of the case couldn’t have been lost on the writer of this irreverent article if indeed, the author wanted to be fair, objective and truthful.

The Kosmos Enery-ExxonMobil deal was not approved by Ghana because Kosmos Energy clearly violated the terms of the agreement it has with the partners on the Jubilee oil field.

By the terms of the agreement, if any one of the partners wanted to sell it’s stake, the other partners should be given the first option to buy, and until that is done, outsiders cannot be shown the data room – but that was exactly what Kosmos Energy failed to do. Without reference to the partners, which include, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tullow Oil, Anadarko Petroleum and the others, Kosmos opened its data room to neighbours, Texas-based ExxonMobil.

And the author of the Forbes article who obviously must believe that America must take control of the oil in Ghana sees nothing wrong with the illegality in the conduct of Kosmos Energy and comes down on Ghana, which has the right to exercise its sovereignty.

The author’s call for deeper scrutiny of Ghana’s action in not approving the Kosmos-ExxonMobil  by Washington is not only comical but absurd. And the assertion that the action “threatens to waste hundreds of millions of American taxpayer-funded aid dollars and undo hard-won reforms,” is to say the least alarmist and unfounded.

This article isn’t the first, since Ghana refused to approve the deal, and doesn’t look like it will be the last. But the section of the US media that thinks America has the right to tell other nations how to manage their own affairs must be living in a dream world of their own. If indeed, this section of the media that is literally stampeding Washington to do what it certainly cannot do by forcing the Ghana government to approve what is an obvious illegality, then they must think again especially when they are making reference to the rule of law.

They may be scared or even unsettled by the economic rise and might of China, but they should also know that the world has evolved and America will not always remain a world superpower, both militarily and economically. And more importantly Ghana deserves some respect.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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This article was first published in the Ashanti Independent, a sister paper of The Independent …

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  1. Thanks you Emmanuel K. Dogbevi for telling it like it is. This is also the only way we can keep our own government in check for not selling out our national interest out for political reasons or under pressure from the powerful Western countries. Please this is journalism at it best. Kudo’s to you guys at ghanabusinessnews.com. You are true ghanaians. Please keep doing the good work.

  2. Thank you very much Emmanuel, nice article.