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Business News of Thursday, 18 July 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

PIAC rejects 'poor data quality' excuse for direct negotiation for oil blocks

Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) Dr Steve Manteaw, has rejected claims by some oil and gas companies that the poor data quality on oil blocks is compelling them to go for direct negotiation rather than competitive bidding.

He said that claim cannot be a good justification because the principles of going into a direct negotiation are different from competitive bidding.

Dr Manteaw made the comments on the sidelines of the launch of the civil society scorecard report on Ghana's first upstream oil and gas round.

After Government launched the first bidding process and licensing round for some oil blocks in the Western Region, about ten of the companies that submitted bids have chosen to go for direct negotiation.

This development has been described as a sign of low interest in the country's field which has been blamed on the low quality of data on the various oil blocks and small size of acreage.

In an interview after the launch of the citizens’ scorecard on the pre-qualification process, Dr Manteaw rejected the claim.

Meanwhile the inadequate public knowledge on the companies to be awarded the blocks through direct negotiation is said to undermine the quality of the competitive bidding process.

The report is part of initiatives by civil society to improve transparency in the extractive sector.