Nine oil companies have failed to pay a total of $721,000 in surface rentals to the Ghanaian government as of year end 2015, Ghana News reported.
According to Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), revenue from the oil sector is expected to drop by 61% due to the unpaid fees. Licensed upstream companies paid slightly more than $460,000 in 2015, compared to about $907,00 in 2014, representing a 49% decline, Ghana Web informed.
Tullow Ghana together with eight other upstream companies including Saltpond Offshore Producing Company, AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited, and Heritage Exploration and Production Company Limited (East Keta Ultra Deepwater) have not paid their surface rentals. GRA cannot track an amount of $67,000, owed by Oranto/Stone Energy from 2013, for collection, among other dues.
Governmental budgets in Ghana take into considerations surface rentals and corporate tax as part of the country’s planned annual income. Therefore, policy think-tank, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) predicts an increase in government borrowing to bridge the gap in oil revenues.
The 2015 Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) Annual Report on the Management of Petroleum Revenues recommended that the GRA initiates a process to recover all outstanding surface rentals owed by the upstream companies to the government with applicable penalties.