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The Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has expressed government’s determination to ensure transparency and accountability in the commercial exploration of oil and gas in the country.

Mr. Agyarko noted that government would put new policies in place and strengthen existing ones to address challenges relating to transparency and democratic accountability in the management of petroleum revenue and award of oil exploration bids.

“The country has set up Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to deal with challenges relating to transparency and democratic accountability with respect to the use of Petroleum Revenue and has also extended the coverage of the EITI initiative to include oil and gas,” he said.

The sector minister also indicated that the current open door policy for block award is being replaced by the provisions in Act 919 with a Licensing Round (competitive bidding), which is expected to commence in 2018 once the regulations on competitive tendering process is completed.

“We intend to ensure more transparency in the award of contracts and licenses through competitive Licensing Rounds. Additionally, a Petroleum Register, which is under development, is expected to be ready within a year. The Register will serve as a compendium of important information for public and investors alike,” he added.

This new system, Mr. Agyarko said, would not only promote transparency, fairness and competition, but also allow the State to award those bids that promise to maximize economic recovery of Ghana’s oil and gas resources.

Mr. Agyarko disclosed this while speaking at the stakeholder’s forum on Ghana’s 10 years experience as a commercial oil producer, themed, ‘Ghana’s upstream petroleum industry: a decade after commercial discovery.’

The event, organized by Petroleum Commission Ghana, was attended by players in the oil and gas exploratory, management and regulatory industries, who discussed the successes and challenges of the industry.

Local Content

Mr. Agyarko indicated that government was determined to ensure that the country will not only be a recipient of direct revenues from petroleum operations, but ensure that the oil industry creates value through local content and local participation.

He said the current government will ensure that the Local Content and Local Participation Policy, which was approved by cabinet and subsequently the L.I 2204 was passed in 2013, fulfills its mandate of ensuring local participation in all aspects of the oil and gas value chain.

This would be made possible by 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-country, he said.

“The Petroleum Commission has made tremendous strides in the implementation of the Local Content Policy and Local Content Regulations. The government, with your support, will continue to implement policies that will ensure that this growth is not only sustained but further increased to levels that are unprecedented,” he added.
Source: Daily Guide

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