GHS23m Crude Saga: COPEC lying – BOST

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited has described as “unfortunate and misleading”, a statement issued against the firm by Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah regarding the sale of some 1.8million litres of crude oil at a discount that has led to a GHS23million revenue loss to the state.

COPEC is calling for a probe regarding the sale of crude to BB Energy Company under unclear circumstances.

Mr Amoah, who issued a press statement on Monday, 12 March in relation to the development said: “One is left wondering what could have informed the current BOST to undertake such a poor wasteful transaction leaving the company with a net loss of over GHS 23million.

COPEC GH has, therefore, urged the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO), Police CID, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (SP) to take up the matter to unravel the circumstances and details regarding the sale which COPEC believes was a rip-off.

Mr Amoah had indicated that at the international level, Quaibo Crude is sold at Brent plus $0.85 per barrel as the official price, and, therefore, BOST has caused financial loss to the state by selling its own at a discount of $2 per barrel.

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Responding to the allegations, sources at BOST familiar with the transaction told that “a cargo imported with the aim of refining or using for one purpose but did not materialise and reselling it about 10 months later cannot be sold at the official price. Such a product is considered ‘distress cargo’ and is always sold at a discount globally”.

“BOST has offers for such distress cargoes at a discount of $4 per barrel. Any person competent in the industry would have asked for the details before issuing this illogical and baseless statement. Thus keeping the crude for such a period may affect the quality and for that matter the yield, hence the assay is a factor in pricing,” the sources noted.

“Is he [Duncan Amoah] saying that BOST should have waited till that time [January 2018] before selling the product? That certainly would not have been a prudent business decision at all.

“If that is what he thinks, then it is equally advisable for BOST to wait and sell it somewhere in the year 2050, perhaps, the price of crude may hit $150 per barrel. Such moves cause potential damage to the reputation of his fellow human beings and the very company that belongs to all of us.

“It should be noted here that part of the other parcel of the crude, Ten Crude, was refined before TOR broke down. The remaining was given back to the supplier to set off our indebtedness to them. So where from all these allegations.

“We are appealing to the media and the general public to ignore [Mr Amoah] for the state’s sake.

“Every day, BOST’s management is having crisis meetings because of these false and misleading publications thereby preventing us from concentrating on our core mandate. Ghanaians and the media should not allow these falsehoods to derail us. Anybody can pass by BOST for every information,” the sources said.