Parliament is to probe oil marketing giant, Vivo Energy, formerly Shell Ghana, for allegedly operating in the country unlawfully.
It follows a question filed under certificate of urgency by Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kwaku Kwarteng, asking the Minister for Energy & Petroleum to appear before the house and explain why Vivo Energy continues to operate in Ghana without complying with regulatory requirements.
In May 2013, the National Petroleum Authority approved an application by Vivo Energy to take over Shell Petroleum Ghana and operate in Ghana’s downstream petroleum sector.
A condition for the approval was that Vivo Energy would, within 60 days, give up some of its shares to indigenous Ghanaians to bring the total Ghanaian investment in their company to 25%. This condition was accepted in writing by Vivo Energy.
Seventeen months (17) on, Vivo Energy is yet to step up its Ghanaian ownership.
In its letter of 3rd November 2014 to Vivo Energy, the National Petroleum Authority decried the multinational company’s non-compliance in the following terms:
“The non-compliance has been raised in a number of meetings with Vivo Energy (London) and the former Managing Director Mr. Ben Osoro of Vivo Ghana Limited. At each of the said meetings, a favorable response was given by Vivo Energy Limited to activate the process for a private placement of the shares outstanding for local Ghanaian entities to purchase approximately 8% of the current shares capital to bring up the total indigenous investment in Vivo Energy Ghana Limited (Shell Ghana Limited) to 25%. We have however noted that to date, Vivo Energy Ghana Limited has not complied with the requirement.”
Accordingly, the NPA refused Vivo Energy’s 27th October 2014’s application for renewal of their oil marketing company license.
This has infuriated the Mr. Kwarteng to file the question asking the Minister for Energy & Petroleum to answer to Parliament why Vivo Energy continues to operate in downstream petroleum industry.