The Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, has charged the Petroleum Commission to facilitate the development of regulations in its bid to ensure compliance of national laws and agreements, relating to petroleum activities.

According to him, since the promulgation of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Law in 1983, no upstream petroleum regulations had been developed and that was creating impediments in the Commission’s mandate.

“I, therefore, challenge the Board to build a highly technical human resource base that will ensure compliance with the applicable laws and standards in the upstream industry.

Take steps to implement the new regime for allocating petroleum rights, finalise regulations on competitive public tender process and develop modalities for the management of the Local Content Fund that would provide resources for citizens and indigenous companies engaged in the petroleum activities,” Hon. Boakye Agyarko stressed.

He continued that, “situation of the upstream petroleum regulation was, being improved as the Commission and the Ministry had facilitated the passage of the Exploration and Production Law, 2016 (Act 919) and its regulations.

Currently the Commission is working to lay before Parliament the Data Management Regulation, Health and Safety Regulations by December, this year, and ensure their passage into law,”

The sector Minister expressed dissatisfaction with legislations that were made with conflicting mandates of most institutions, frustrating industry players and stifling foreign direct investment in the Energy sector,
and thus, a memo would shortly be forwarded to Cabinet by the Ministry for discussion.

“In the light of disruptions arising from budgetary allocation and recent challenges being encountered from the capping of Internally Generated Funds of the Commission by the Ministry of Finance, it is imperative that the Board works with management to wean off the Commission from government subvention,” he noted.

Hon. Agyarko therefore charged the Board to restructure all capacity building programmes into one that would be called “Accelerated Oil Capacity Development Programme (AOCD).”

According to him, the Central Tender Board had given approval for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to go ahead with the planned seismic programme in the Volta Basin.

The Energy Minister said this at the inauguration of a seven-member board of the Petroleum Commission, at the Ministry on 24th August, 2017.

He thereafter, appealed to the Board Members to promote the implementation of the Local Content and Participation Act (LI 2204) and as well, develop a public register of petroleum contacts and ensure those contacts were published as prescribed by law.

The Members of the Board are;
Mr. Stephen Sekyere Abankwah, MD of Prudential Bank Ltd, as the chairman,
Mr. Egbert Faibille Jnr, CEO of Petroleum Commission as a member,
Prof. Daniel Asiedu, Prof. Of Geology, UG, as a member,
Dr. Jemima Nunoo, GIMPA, a member,
Mr. Mahami Salifu, Salifu & Majeed Chambers, a member,
Hon. Mohammed Hardi Tufeiru, MP, a member and Mr. John Alexis Pwamang, Deputy Executive Director, EPA, also a member.

The Board Chairman, Mr Stephen Sekyere Abankwah, on behalf of the members, pledged to live up to the expectation of the Government and the good people of Ghana.

He gave the assurance of the quick implementation of policy decisions, to achieve effective regulation and optimal development of the upstream petroleum sector for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

He stressed that, companies who delayed in their works, would be sanctioned in accordance with the Petroleum Agreements including repossession of their work.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh