Commercial High Court presided over by Justice Mariama Sammo has ordered the operator of Ghana’s Sankofa oil field, ENI Ghana Limited and its partner Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited (Defendants), to commence the payment of 30% of all revenue realized from the sale of crude oil from the field to the registrar of the High Court directly.
On the 25 June 2021, the High Court ordered ENI Ghana Limited and its partner Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited to pay the said monies to any bank that the parties agreed on.
However, six months after the ruling of the Court, no payment has been made because of disagreement about which banks will receive the payments.
Springfield Exploration and Production Ltd (Plaintiff) as a result of the disagreement and delay, applied to the High Court for an order appointing a bank to which the funds to be preserved should be deposited pending the final determination of the substantive suit.
Lack of Cooperation
Justice Mariama Sammo’s Court in its ruling dated the 24 January 2022, described as “quite unfortunate”, what appears to be the lack of cooperation between the parties to obey the orders of the Court in its 25 June 2021 decision.
“The orders of any Court must not be treated with conveniences by parties. The effect of the application before the Court is that the court will have to vary its earlier order, which left it in the hands of the parties to reach agreement on the bank into which the funds to be preserved must be lodged” Justice Sammo said in her ruling.
To this end, the Court ruled that “the Defendants (ENI Ghana Limited and its partner Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited), shall pay into Court forthwith, the outstanding amount of money equivalent to the 30% of funds and revenue as ordered in the order of 25 June, 2021”.
The Court further ordered that the registrar “shall bring any payment to the notice of the Director of Finance of the Judicial Service who shall invest same in an escrow account interest yielding account in the name of the parties in this suit”.
“The payment of the 30% revenue, monies or funds hereby ordered shall take effect from 25th June, 2021 when the earlier order was made and thereafter on a monthly basis pending the final determination of this suit or until further order”
“The Registrar shall prepare a record of payments and shall furnish same to the parties upon request until the final determination of this suit or until further order” Justice Mariama Sammo further ruled.