Talks between Government and Kosmos Energy on the impasse on the proposed sale of the stake of Kosmos in the Jubilee Oil Fields to ExxonMobil reached the highest political level on Friday when officials of the oil company, led by its Chief Operating Officer, Mr Brian Maxtead, paid a courtesy call on President John Evans Atta Mills at the Osu Castle in Accra.
Before the meeting went into a closed-door session, President Mills said it was necessary to discuss the way forward.
The President reiterated that Government would not sway from its assignment to develop its oilfields with the ultimate objective to improve the lives of the people.
He said it was necessary the stakeholders met from time to time to exchange ideas.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Energy Minister, said the President made it clear that Government welcomed investors to help develop its energy sector, but expected them to comply with the laws of the country.
He said the President reiterated Government’s position that the resources of the nation should be harnessed and used to the benefit and welfare of the majority of the people.
Dr Oteng-Adjei observed that the Government realized the necessity to meet with actors in the economy to clear any bumps in the path of development.
Mr Maxtead said Kosmos would also go by the laws of Ghana and co-operate with Government to raise the standard of living of the people.
Government has raised issues with Kosmos Energy over its proposal to offload its shares to Exxon Mobil without government’s prior knowledge.
While Kosmos is of the view that it does not need the government’s consent before offloading its shares, the government, on the other hand, maintains that its consent is needed before any such move can be made.
The government’s position is that any move to offload the shares should be open and transparent and must follow due process.
Earlier meetings had been held between the Ministry of Energy and Kosmos Energy at which the Ministry insisted that the procedure adopted by Kosmos to offload its shares to Exxon Mobil was wrong.
Consequently, the ministry asked Kosmos to respect the terms of the agreement it entered into with the government for the exploration of oil and reverse its earlier stance.
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Ministry of Energy have to determine whether an entity would bring value in partnership with the government in the exploration of oil before brokering any partnership arrangement.
Kosmos later called of the sale to ExxonMobil.