The Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) has denied allegations made by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) that oil revenues were understated in 2016, arguing that, monitoring mechanisms in place are strong enough to prevent revenue leakage. PIAC in its analysis of the performance of the country’s petroleum sector for 2016, said that revenue margins for the period indicated could have been much higher if there were enough personnel from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the various oil fields to monitor processes and happenings. Dr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong, the Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, has however, debunked the claims. “I don’t think oil revenues were understated. I have been on FPSO Agyekum Kufuor. As it is structured, there is a Custom’s person there. I have not seen anything about the integrity of the system being compromised. These are all speculations. We need to verify facts rather than speculating about things. I personally believe, from what I have observed from the FPSO Agyekum Kufuor, there is nothing to worry about,” he said at an event held to commemorate a decade of oil discovery in Ghana. The Acting CEO of Petroleum Commission, Theophilus Ahwireng, also noted that understating oil revenue is “unlikely” given the systems in place but the Commission is open to investigating the issue. “I will be surprised for that to happen. Because we have what we call the physical metres which measures everything and so we will investigate that issue raised,” he said. Oil production and revenue Oil production dipped by about 13.7percent in 2016, from 37.41million barrels in 2015 to 32.30 million barrels, in spite of the coming of stream of the TEN field in August 2016 to augment production at jubilee. In its 2016 annual report, released last week, the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), which has the mandate to monitor and report on petroleum receipts and how they are spent, said the shortfall could have been up to 28percent but for the TEN field. Annual receipts in 2016 totaled US$247.18million, lower than the budgeted US348.42 million, as a result of the decline in production, which is blamed on the challenges encountered with the turret bearing at FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, as well as low oil prices. The figure represents a 38percent year-on-year decline compared to the US$ 396.17 received in 2015, PIAC said, adding that except for Corporate Income Tax (CIT), none of the other sources of petroleum revenues achieved set targets. Ninety-two percent of total CIT or US$27.31million was in respect of tax liabilities that Tullow ought to have paid over the period 2011 to 2014, PIAC said. A total of US229.03 million, representing approximately 93percent of total petroleum receipts, was allocated during the reporting period. An amount of US$98.38million, representing 70percent of the net amount of US140.54million transferred to the Government of Ghana for further distribution was transferred to the Annual Budget Funding Amount in 2016. The remaining US$42.16 million was transferred to the Ghana Petroleum Funds, with the Ghana Stabilisation Fund receiving US29.51million or 70percent and the Ghana Heritage Fund receiving US$12.65million.