Written October 31, 2014
How this balanced documentary came to be filmed in the first place must have an extraordinary back story. Its substance could perhaps power several Harvard Business School case histories.
Two of the main characters, the founder of Kosmos, the Dallas-based exploration company, and his country manager in Ghana, provide us with highly principled, ethical guides into the reality of high-stakes international commerce.
There's intrigue - nation-scale corruption in Nigeria paired with earnest attempts in Ghana to follow Norway's model instead - coupled with pragmatism: the results imposed on the project by the global financial melt-down.
And there's let-down: the firing of the founder / CEO and his country manager in a mistake that cost their private equity backers backers two wasted years and diminished commercial results. (Don't weep for the two execs who were fired. They came out very well indeed.)
A different kind of feature. Could be a strong contender for this year's Oscar.
Written October 28, 2014
Despite filming over several years, Rachel Boyton misses out on several key development in the story. She also leaves out a lot of stats such as what exactly was the business arrangement between Ghana and the half a dozen oil companies involved. This includes Tullow (Ireland) which owns one of the largest percentages, but wasn't mentioned in the film. Neither was Obama's visit in July 2009 shortly after the POD was signed.
Nigeria's problems probably deserve their own documentary. But the comparisons to Ghana are misplaced since the tribal conflicts that fuel Nigeria's political corruption do not exist in Ghana. What a government does with its oil revenues (including taxes on oil companies as well as the government's participation percentage) is not decided by the oil companies.
For some facts on the various players involved, interested readers may want to look at ...
Written March 24, 2014
Very informative, I learned quite a bit, on Ghana, Nigeria and the workings of oil companies . Loved the Q and A afterwards.
Written March 30, 2014
Wonderful, informative documentary
Written July 07, 2014
What a great movie. Yes I was dragged to it and was SO happy to see it. Seeing the behind the scenes of a big oil discovery.
Was incredible to see the comparison of Nigeria vs. Ghana and other countries and how oil discoveries effect and affect the citizens.
But also how the governments tried so hard to make a good man look bad just for advancement and how he was cleared of the wrong doings he was accused of.
Go see it if it comes to your town and if the man that was accused, George Owusu, is speaking afterwards it makes the movie even better.