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Business News of Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Energy Minister acted within law regarding ENI-Springfield unitisation directive – Commercial court

John Peter Amewu, former Energy Minister John Peter Amewu, former Energy Minister

• A commercial court has dismissed a suit filed by Eni and Vitol

• Springfield E&P and ENI Ghana have been at an impasse over unitisation talks

• Former Energy Minister, Peter Amewu gave the directive


A Commercial Court in Accra has in a ruling affirmed that the former Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu acted within the law when directing two oil companies to unitise their oil fields.

In 2019, Italian oil giant subsidiary Eni Ghana, and Springfield Exploration and Production Limited were directed by the Energy Ministry to unitise their Sankofa and Afina oil fields.

A review of the Court’s ruling sighted by GhanaWeb dismissing an application by Eni and Vitol Upstream Ghana for a judicial review of the directive by the minister and said: “A careful reading of Section 34 (1) of the Petroleum Exploration Act, (Act 919) of the year 2018 does not show that the Minister for Energy’s directive violated the said provision of the law”.

The ruling presided by Justice Emmanuel Kwesi Mensah on October 21, 2021 cited the motion paper to the application as “incompetent as it failed to comply with provisions of Order55 Rule 1 of the Rules of court.”

“One also sees in the instant application that the reading of the affidavit in support of the application confirms that the application does not state the reliefs claimed by the Applicants in the proceedings before the Court,” portions of the ruling read in part.

“It is my view that this omission to state the relief or remedy sought by the Applicant in the affidavit in support of the application violates the provisions of Order 55 Rule 4(2)(c) of the Rules of Court,” the Court said.

The decision by the Commercial Court comes after careful review of all affidavit evidence on record was conducted in respect of the review application together with their attached exhibits and statements of claim.

This then firmly concluded that the Judicial Review filed by the two oil companies was unmeritorious and should fail.

Background

Springfield Exploration & Production and ENI Ghana Exploration have been unable to hold unitisation talks after a directive was issued back in 2019 by the Energy Ministry requesting the oil firms to unitise their Sankofa offshore oil field and Afina oil block operated by Springfield E&P.

For over a year, the two companies have failed to move ahead with the directive.

Eni and Vitol then filed a suit on April 12, 2021 asking the Commercial Court to declare the directive by former energy minister John Peter Amewu as illegal, arbitrary and unfair to them.

The firms further prayed the court to declare that the minister did not follow due process of the law in issuing the purported directives and an order quashing the directives.

Read the statement below:

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