Shareholders of the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) have endorsed the company's plans to diversify its business into the upstream petroleum sector to help cement its clout and chart a new course for growth.
The endorsement was secured at the company's 50th annual general meeting on May 23 through the passage of a special resolution on the the GOIL-ExxonMobil partnership.
The approval by shareholders now allows GOIL, a leader in the bulk oil distribution and oil marketing business, to partner ExxonMobil, the world's biggest upstream petroleum company in the Deepwater Cape Three Points (DWCT) block, off the coast of the Western Region.
The GOIL Group, which comprises GO Energy, a bulk oil trader, GOIL, the Oil Marketing Company (OMC), will partner ExxonMobil through it's third subsidiary, GOIL Offshore Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in 2018.
GOIL, through its subsidiary, owns five per cent in the multibillion dollar block.
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The Board Chairman of GOIL, Mr Kwamena Bartels, said at the meeting that the board had to "fight" for GOIL to be selected as a local partner to ExxonMobil in the DWCT block.
He said the partnership was a feather in the cap of GOIL, an indigenous company that has been a trailblazer in the industry.
He, therefore, commended shareholders for the endorsement and assured that the right decisions would be taken to ensure that the company benefited fully from the partnership.
Patrick Akorli retires
The board chairman also announced that the Group Managing Director of the company, Mr Patrick Akorli, would proceed on leave in June prior to his retirement in November.
He described Mr Akorli as a dedicated staff who had spent 23 of his working life with GOIL, serving in various capacities until his appointment as MD in 2012.
To ensure that GOIL benefited from Mr Akorli's institutional memory, competence and experiences, he said the group had appointed him as Board Chairman of GO Energy, the bulk oil distributor.
The Group MD of GOIL, Mr Patrick Aklorli also thanked the shareholders for endorsing the GOIL-ExxonMobil partnership, describing it as an exciting moment in the history of the company.
He said the company was now on the path of growth, which required that it diversified its operations into areas that will yield extra revenue.
In response to concerns that GOIL may not be able to raise the necessary funds to invest in the block, Mr Akorli said GOIL was competent in that regard.
He said estimates showed that GOIL would have to contribute about US$25 million as its portion of investments in the block over a five-year period.
The amount, he said, had been secured and ring-fenced.
Should the need arise for more money, Mr Akorli said GOIL would resort to other fundraising avenues to meet its portion of any contribution in the future.
He also disclosed that ExxonMobil had assured GOIL that there would be an oil find in the block, raising hopes that any investments would not go to waste.
He also thanked shareholders for the opportunity to serve and pledged to continue to offer his best in his new role as board chairman of GO Energy
Meanwhile, GOIL's gross revenue rose to GH¢5.7 billion in 2018, up from the 2017 close of GH¢4.8bn in 2017 on the back of strong sales.
Net profit also grew by 26 per cent per cent to GH¢81.4 million in 2018.
The board declared a dividend of 42 pesewas per share compared to 2017 when it was 28 pesewas per share.
This means that the company will pay a total of GH¢164.6 million in dividend to its shareholders under the 2018 financial year.