Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the commendation of this Committee for the adoption of the Report to approve the GNPC 2018 programme of activities.
Mr Speaker, I would be very brief because of the clue you have given us. First of all, it was indicated on page 11 of the Report that, the OCTP project so far has given us a savings of US$691 million and there had been recommendations from the ENI and partners on how that US$691 million should be utilised.
Mr Speaker, let me commend the Committee for the direction they have taken in terms of how those savings should be applied. The recommendation that somehow it would increase gas production of 300 MMScf, quite frankly is a nonstarter and I believe that, the Committee has recommended that we should stay within the 180 MMScf to allow other gas projects to come in overtime and that is a very important consideration.
Mr Speaker, in talking about the OCTP, it is very important to note that, the first oil was achieved on time -- May, 2017. I also noted that, the FPSO was also completed and was appropriately named after President J. A Kufuor.
But Mr Speaker, let me make these two very important points. We are progressing and deepening our democracy as a country. I think everybody knows when the NPP Government came into power, it would be impossible for them to have done anything with the OCTP project and they would complete an FPSO and make sure the first oil arrives.
Mr Speaker, I was at the commissioning and I sat at the back. President Mahama was not invited and no mention of the people who led the effort was made. In fact, it was President Mahama who actually named the FPSO after J. A. Kufuor and that is the record.
I think it is important as we move forward that, credit is given where credit is due.
Mr Speaker, as we move forward, we also know the effort that the previous administration has put in building the gas plant.
Mr Speaker, the gas plant is in place and supporting gas production, but I noted in this Report, page 4, paragraph 7.8, that we have created a West Coast Gas Ghana Limited to manage the gas nomination system.
Mr Speaker, we need to probe into this matter. We need to really understand it. I understand that, going forward we would have gas, possibly, HESS would bring gas, so there is the need for different gas to go through the system, but we do not need private entities to supply VRA with gas, and to also put a mark up on it. Is that what it is? I have not said that.
I believe we need to really understand what this is all about. It is very important we understand that. Earlier in the year, we talked about the need for LNG, and there are a lot of projects that were proposed.
Mr Speaker, I remember there was a controversy about the previous administration having brought too much LNG projects. GNPC has spent millions on one of these LNG gas quantum.
Certainly, we have a new government and that project has been thrown away. We now have Gazprom, and we are going to spend another money on it.
Mr Speaker, this must stop. Even as we talk about this, yesterday I made a very important point. We are talking about Exxon Mobil coming to Ghana. Yes, they are in Ghana.
They are in Ghana because the NDC Administration brought them. We spent two years negotiating this Agreement, signed an MOU, and the only reason we did not approve it was because, the Bank of Ghana raised issues, some fiscal rules that had to be complied with.
So when this government came and followed up on those Agreements, all that this government had to do was to say that we the NDC spent over two years negotiating this Agreement.
Somehow, it is being celebrated outside. The Agreement is not even in Parliament, it has not even been ratified. It is not even here, and somehow we have made the whole of Ghana know that, there is a petroleum Agreement, signed and sealed.
Mr Speaker, as we talk about giving credit, the fact that there is a new government does not mean that, we should throw away experts who have been in the industry for years. We need them.
We need strong experts in the Petroleum Commission; the national oil company, and they must be there. These are professionals we need, and that is very important.
Mr Speaker, moving along on page 10 paragraph 9.3.3, the Report talked about-