Years after the passage of the Local Content law, government is determined to provide the enabling environment for Indigenous Ghanaian companies to thrive.

The government has excused that, direct revenue from the petroleum operations is not enough for the country but creating value through local content and local participation is the priority of government.

The Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko has said that, the country is focused on developing indigenous gas and it is expected to create the enabling environment for further investments into ancillary projects.

He explained that the local content law seeks to ensure local participation in all aspect of the gas and oil value chain but promoting the optimization of value addition and job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, business and financing in the petroleum industry value chain and their retention in the country.

According to the minister, the country took the necessary steps for the implementation of the western corridor gas infrastructure project, out of which the Ghana National Gas company was established to monetise Ghana’s Natural gas resources.

Boakye Agyarko has explained that, a number of projects had being embarked upon notably the 60 kilometre offshore pipeline from the jubilee field to Atuabu, 150 million scarfs capacity gas processing plant located at Atuabo and a 110 kilometres onshore gas delivery line from Atuabo to Aboadze.

“Future expansion of this facility is being considered to accommodate additional plant production. Discussions are currently ongoing with (WAPCo) West African Gas Pipeline Company for the reverse flow of gas from Aboadze to Tema thus further stretching the reach of this project” he added.

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In the quest to sustain growth and increase the benefit that will accrue to the country, the minister said government through the petroleum commission will implement policies that will strengthen the local content policy and regulation to encourage the participation of the locals.

Meanwhile, the Minister has also revealed that the government is preparing some new laws to ensure transparency, fairness, and competitiveness in the petroleum sector.

Building on other enactments made by other governments, the minister said that two regulations are near completion and its enactment will ensure accountability of petroleum revenue.

“Two other regulations, agency and data management regulations are near completion and expected to be submitted to parliament in August 2017 for passage into Law. Additionally, a draft general petroleum regulations is expected to be passed into law in 2018” he said.

According to him, a number of laws have enhanced the existing petroleum laws in Ghana, for which he cited the petroleum revenue management Amendment Act 2015, Act 893 as one that has provided a framework for the collection allocation and management of petroleum revenue in an accountable and sustainable manner.

“The passing of these laws has ushered the development of Ghana’s fledging petroleum industry into a new face. This face has come with new challenges as the country moves into the actual development, production and utilization of its oil and gas resources” he said

The minister, speaking at the Stakeholder Forum on Oil Discovery, indicated that important subsidiary legislation has been enacted to bring further predictability to the industry.

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He then mentioned the petroleum local content participation law LI 2204 as one that aimed at enabling Ghanaian’s to benefit from upstream petroleum business and also expand in-country value creation.

Giving an account of regulations enacted since the discovery of oil 10 years now, Boakye Agyarko mentioned the Petroleum exploration and production, measurement and regulation law LI 2246 as one that had the objective of ensuring accurate measurement and allocation of petroleum which forms the basis for the determination of revenue that accrues for the Republic.

He further briefed the audiences gathered about the government’s commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in the petroleum sector.

“The country has set up a public interest and accountability committee to deal with challenges relating to the transparency and democratic accountability with respect to the use of petroleum revenue and had also extended the coverage of the EITI initiative to include oil and gas,” he said

He further revealed that a regulation on the competitive tending process is expected to commence in 2018 and that would not only promote transparency, fairness, and competition but will also allow the state to award to those bids that promise to maximize economic recovery of Ghana’s oil and gas resource.

Source: Adnan Adams Mohammed