The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Chief Executive, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has said the NPA in consultation with the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMCs) has come up with criteria for distributing the next consignment of petroleum products which have been imported under the Gold for Oil (G4O) programme.
According to him, this is to ensure that the G4O programme’s impact is felt by consumers across the country, while addressing concerns of the AOMCs regarding a lack of clarity in the allocation of products supplied under the programme to its members.
The criteria take into consideration the top-25 OMCs who distributed petrol and diesel in 2022, and have not less than 45 retail outlets across the country.
He lauded implementation of the G4O as it has slightly lowered prices of petroleum products and reduced forex risk.
Speaking at the meet-the-press in Accra on Wednesday, the NPA boss said the country had received three cargoes so far – comprising 41,000 metric tonnes (mt) of diesel in January, and another 40,000mt of diesel and 35,000mt of petrol which have just arrived and are being discharged.
He stressed that, “Better results are expected as more G4O cargoes arrive”.
The meet-the-press was under the Ministry of Information’s auspices and featured the NPA, which focused on developments in the downstream petroleum industry on the theme ‘Petroleum Downstream: Retrospect and Prospect’.
Tracing the situation before implementation of the G4O programme, Dr. Abdul-Hamid
said the average monthly petroleum product import bill ranged from US$350million to US$400million.
He said the petroleum downstream dollar demand accounted for 20 percent of national demand.
The NPA boss noted that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) commenced a special exchange rate auction programme for the petroleum downstream in April 2022, and indicated that the special auction programme could not meet 100 percent of forex demand in the country.
“Inadequacy of BoG supply pushes BIDECs to speculate forex rates arbitrarily, based on proposed rates from commercial banks,” he said, and explained that the gold payment was mooted as a solution to the pressure that the petroleum downstream puts on the cedi.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the NPA regulates G40 products prices on the interim (Ex-ref price and Ex-pump prices).
He stated that the Authority has intensified price monitoring activities with penalties for defaulting service providers.
Touching on activities undertaken to ensure product quality and integrity, the NPA boss mentioned the supply of low-sulphur fuels (cleaner fuels), a maximum of 50ppm for imports and a maximum of 1500ppm for domestic production.
The NPA also undertakes periodic petroleum product monitoring exercises; conducts fuel marker monitoring and quality monitoring of fuel standards (Quality Control) including checking of water in fuel; and collaborates with security agencies to prevent illegal imports, exports and product dumping.
Dr. Abdul-Hamid said the Authority used technology (Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS), National Fuel Monitoring System (NFMS) and the Automatic Tank Gauge system to ensure intended delivery of petroleum products along the petroleum downstream value chain.
He mentioned revocation of licences and publishing the names of defaulting Petroleum Service Providers (PSPs), and Laycans allocation and monitoring to ensure adequate supply, as some of the activities undertaken to ensure order in the downstream petroleum industry.