Disregard false publications on ENI/Vitol Award- AG

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The Office of the Attorney-General has urged the public to disregard false publications on 'ENI/Vitol Award', which he says represents a major victory for the country. Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, said his Office had observed series of false publications by some individuals on a 'vile and misguided mission to cast aspersions at the Government's recent impeccable record in international arbitration proceedings since assuming office,' and asked the public to ignore such publications. On July 8, 2024, the International Arbitration Tribunal in the action instituted by Eni Ghana Exploration and Production Limited and Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited (collectively called Claimants) against the Government and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), issued its Final Award. The Tribunal dismissed the Claimants' request for it to declare that Ghana breached the Petroleum Agreement by 'refusing to withdraw or prevent reliance by third parties on the Unitisation Directives'. The AG said the Tribunal also dismissed the Claimants' request for Ghana to notify the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Ghana that the Unitisation Directives were issued in breach of the Petroleum Agreement. The Tribunal found that 'in the circumstances in which they were issued,' the Unitisation Directives breached the Petroleum Agreement, thus the specific Unitisation Directives were contrary to the applicable regulations and thereby breached Article 26(2) of the Petroleum Agreement. The Tribunal, however, affirmed Ghana's right or authority to unitise oil fields to achieve efficient exploitation of the deposits. The AG said that paved the way to unitise the Afina and Sankofa fields, or indeed any other oil fields, in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the laws of Ghana and the relevant Petroleum Agreements. He said the Tribunal denied all claims of the Claimants. Mr Dame said the Claimants were demanding seven billion United States Dollars (US$7 billion). 'This was subsequent ly reviewed to Nine Hundred and Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$915 million) plus interest by the end of the proceedings and this was dismissed in its entirety,' he said Mr Dame said the Tribunal also dismissed in their entirety the Claimants' claims against GNPC. The AG said regarding allocation of fees and costs, the Tribunal held that all the Parties would be required to pay their own legal fees and costs. 'The Tribunal, however, ordered Ghana to pay One Hundred and Eighty-nine Thousand Pounds (pound 189,000) to the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) being half of the SCC's charges,' he added. The Attorney-General said he remained resolute in defending the natural resources of the State and would continue to vigorously contest all international and local arbitration claims and actions against Ghana calculated at imposing unnecessary judgment debts on the country. Source: Ghana News Agency

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