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Environmental disaster to hit offshore Saltpond – Energy Policy Group

The Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR), has revealed that there is an impending Environmental disaster at offshore Saltpond, in the Central Region.

The research body explained in a statement that Ghana is facing an imminent environmental catastrophe if the 65 years old Oil Rig, ‘‘Mr. Louie’’ is not decommissioned immediately.

The Saltpond field is Ghana’s oldest Oil field, discovered in 1970 and was operated by the Signal-Amoco Consortium.They relinquished the concession field in 1976 to offshore Hydrocarbon Limited citing the field as non-commercial. Offshore Hydrocarbon entered into a development partnership with Agri-Petco of U.S.A between 1977 to 1978.

“This company initially brought the jack up rig called ‘‘Mr. Louie’’ to drill six appraisal wells. In October 1978, the Jack up rig was converted into a production platform.

“The saltpond field was abandoned between 1985 and 2000, until in August 2000 when rehabilitation works commenced with the repair of the ‘’Mr. Louie’’ platform by Lushann International.

“The field was producing an average of 400 barrels per day from two well when production started in August 2000, then dropped to around 150 barrels per day before operation of the oil field was halted on June 10, 2010 by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

“A decision to decommission the field was made in March 2018 when the Phase-1 of the project was awarded through a competitive process to a consulting consortium led by PAP Energy Limited. Their report on the decommissioning plan was submitted to the Ministry of Energy and GNPC in July 2019. Based on this report, a competitive tender to award the decommissioning contract was started in May 2020. The process has stalled since then and all efforts to ascertain from GNPC, the reason for the delay has yielded no information.

“Recent reports on ‘’Mr. Louie’ sighted by INSTEPR reveals a very disturbing state of the platform. The wellhead valves which are the primary locks securing the wellbore from flowing oil and gas back to surface are currently severely pitted and rusted. The production platform has rusted severely as it shakes and wavers during heavy rains.  Currently there are gas leaks and should the wellhead valves or pipes or even the platform fails eventually, there will be an explosion and the gas build up in the well will bring around 150 barrels of crude oil daily into the sea in the central region of Ghana.

“GNPC keep a skeletal staff on this platform and their lives are in danger should there be such an accident. This oil spillage will destroy the natural ecosystem of the area and makes the fish in our seas unsuitable for human consumption for years to come.

“It will also cost Billions of dollars to control the well and safely clean up the oil spillage as well as fines by international environmental agencies. Similar disaster was witnessed on television during the 2010 Oil Spillage in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The Institute will want to draw the attention of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GNPC and the Energy committee of Parliament to immediately supervise the decommissioning of this production platform ‘’Mr. Louie’’ before our worst nightmare happens.”


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We’ll ensure our members comply with reduction in fuel prices – OMCs

Three Major Security Threats In Ghana | News Ghana

The Association of Oil Marketing Companies has urged consumers of petroleum products to remain calm as it works to ensure all members comply with the latest reduction in the price of fuel.

This follows a directive by the Energy Minister Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh to the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to reduce the 17 pesewas per litre increase in fuel margins it introduced on May 1, 2021, to 9 pesewas per litre.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on May 5, 2021, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Kwaku Agyemang Duah, said most OMCs across the country will revise their prices by close of day today.

“It is early days. There are some who already revised their prices on the 1st of May and have to readjust to reflect the reduced prices announced yesterday. There are others who are yet to do so. So we need some time.”

“By close of work today, we will have a lot more of our members complying with the new directive.”

The government proposed a 5.7 percent increment in prices of petrol and diesel as part of new levies it is imposing on Ghanaians.

Until the recent increment, figures from the pumps showed that prices of petrol and diesel, which were both selling at an average price of GHS 4.7 per litre in December 2020, had risen to an average of GHS 5.74 as of mid-March 2021.

Currently, some Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) are displaying GHS 6.13 per litre of fuel at the pumps.

Fuel prices in the country have consistently seen a steady increase since the beginning of the year, sparking fears that consumers may end the year paying an all-time high rate per litre.


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Abu Jinapor lacks competence to fight galamsey – JOY

I’m told number of missing excavators is not up to 500 – Abu Jinapor
Samuel Abu Jinapor

Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2020 Elections Jacob Osei Yeboah (JOY) has slammed the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, saying he lacks the competence to fight illegal mining.

He has reiterated that the Minister and the people that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has trusted to lead the galamsey fight are inept and lack the courage to take bold steps to fight the canker.

He acknowledges that President Akufo-Addo has a fantastic plan and the political will to stop illegal mining in the country but the problem has to do with the people he has entrusted power to execute the plan in stopping illegal mining activities.

The 2020 Independent Vice Presidential Candidate, speaking in an interview on Yen Sempa on Onua FM on Thursday, April 29 described the people President Akufo-Addo has entrusted power and relied on to fight galamsey as sycophants and toadies who seek their personal gains at the expense of the masses.

He expressed fret over the fact that the current minister is adopting the same pathway that terribly failed the government in 2017 in its attempt to fight illegal mining activities.

He stated emphatically that the 2017 policy designed by the government to curtail galamsey failed because of self-indulgence and greediness of the people who the president tasked to lead the fight.

JOY told host Kwame Tutu that he pities the president for not having competent and reliable people around him to help his vision for Ghana.

“Any time I look at the ministers he has appointed and the kind of people that the president has entrusted to work for him, I always pity him because he did not get good people with a good heart to help his government.”

The steps that the Minister has taken to stop illegal mining won’t work because the government in 2017 took the same step “and because of greediness, it did not work which I told them but because I am not part of them they did not listen”.

The two-time independent Presidential Candidate thus suggested to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister to rather engage the small-scale miners instead of involving the military in using force to fight the miners.

He wants the Minister to also engage the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and traditional rulers who are the custodians of lands at the local level to help regulate mining activities.

Source: Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM||Ghana

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Soldiers deployed to galamsey areas destroy nine excavators, 127 changfans

Causes and effects of galamsey in Ghana ▷ YEN.COM.GH
Some illegal mining activities in Ghana

The 200 military personnel dispatched by the government to flush out illegal miners on Ghana’s water bodies have destroyed nine excavators,127 changfans, and one fuel pump.

The exercise christened “Operation Halt” has also led to the arrest of two Chinese nationals.

Outlining the scope of work of the team, the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, warned that the armed military men will take action against persons who are found to have returned to the site.

“It is noted that since the operation commenced on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, to Thursday, April 29, 2021, the troops have destroyed a good deal of equipment including nine excavators and  127 changfans. Furthermore, the following items have been seized and would have been but for the fact that they will be used as exhibits in court for prosecution. The items include 8×24 plate batteries, one pump action gun case, a generator, a Huawei phone, a chainsaw machine, eight raincoats, fuel filters, non-citizen Ghana cards, two drilling equipment, and two boots.”

“These items will be destroyed except what the police deem necessary for their work for prosecution.”

He also noted that they will be patrolling and operating in galamsey-endemic regions, where major river bodies and forest reserves have been polluted.

“This operation will be conducted on all major river and forest reserves in all galamsey endemic regions throughout the country to rip them of illegal mining activities.”

“There will be aerial patrols at places where GAF has also swept past. Armed men would be authorised to take immediate action on anyone who returns to these river bodies to engage in galamsey activities.”

About the military deployment

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, deployed 200 military personnel to flush out illegal miners destroying water bodies in the country.

A statement from the Information Ministry, which made the announcement, said the team commenced the operation on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, on the River Pra in the Central and Western Regions.

According to the statement, the directive is based on the suggestions the government received during the Stakeholder Dialogue on Small Scale Mining which took place from April 14 to 15, 2021.

“In furtherance of the resolution of the final communiqué of the Stakeholder Dialogue on Small Scale Mining on April 14 to April 15, and to ensure that mining within water bodies is immediately stopped; the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has authorized the Ghana Armed Forces to commence an operation to remove all persons and logistics involved in mining from Ghana’s water bodies.”

“The operation commenced at 0600 hours on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, on the River Pra in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana. Two Hundred (200) officers of the Ghana Armed Forces are involved in the operation.”

Government’s renewed fight against galamsey

The government recently renewed its commitment to fight illegal mining at a National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, where stakeholders charged the government to take steps to strictly apply the country’s mining laws.

This has led to many actions being taken in that regard.

The government ordered persons undertaking prospecting activities in forest reserves across the country to indefinitely suspend such activities.

It also directed the Minerals Commission to desist from processing or granting any request for the renewal of prospecting licenses in forest reserves.


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