Tullow Oil Plc has secured a finance deal with a number of banks including the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland. The company says the $3.5m debt refinancing will in part be used for its operations in Ghana.
Platform has watched the developments in Ghana closely. Amongst other concerns, Tullow has continued to flare excess gas during oil extraction despite the Ghanaian government’s ‘zero flaring’ policy. Gas flaring is one of the most contentious and harmful impacts of oil operations in neighbouring Nigeria. Tullow’s track record is already marred by controversy reported by Platform over the small oil company’s actions in Uganda and DRC.
The news that a syndicate of 27 banks have refinanced the company as part of its expansion in Ghana raises concerns about whether the project will adhere to the social and environmental stipulations laid out in the Equator Principles, to which many of the banks, including RBS, are signatories.