Ghana is tapping the experience of Norway in the management of her oil and gas resources, according to a 2008 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two nations to build the capacity of Ghana in the petroleum sector.
Under the MoU, Norway will build the capacity of state institutions responsible for the exploration and development of oil and gas resources, revenue management and environmental protection. It will also focus on the development of a legal framework to govern the petroleum exploration and production, licensing and tendering processes, management and control of fiscal regimes as well as overall environmental management within the oil sector.
These were highlighted at a three-day workshop in Accra yesterday to discuss petroleum resource management and needs assessment for the country. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Energy and Norwegian Development Agency. Participants were experts drawn from national and international organizations including the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, National Petroleum Authority, Attorney-General’s Department, the Energy Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Others are the Ministry of Science and Environment, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Petroleum Safety Authority, Norway, German Technical Co-operation, the World Bank, the Netherlands and the United States Agency for International Development.
There will be presentations on the current situation and possible future scenarios for oil and gas activities in Ghana, overview of Norwegian oil and gas resource management experience and their functions in relation to possible needs of Ghana.
The Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, said in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah at the opening, that the country was very much aware of her institutional weaknesses as well as and the calamities that had befallen some oil-rich nations where the blessings of oil had turned into a bitter curse, contending that “Ghana is therefore drawing on the good experiences of other oil rich nations to manage her oil and gas resources.”
It was against that background, he said that the country signed the MoU with Norway to provide technical assistance to the country in the petroleum sector and as a result of other collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Energy and the country’s development partners.
They included the on-going review of petroleum laws and regulations, development of local content and local participation policy that will promote the use of Ghanaian goods and services and the extension of the extractive industries transparency initiative to oil and gas, he noted.
Dr Oteng-Adjei said the workshop was an important milestone in the country’s march towards the acquisition of critical skills, knowledge and competencies that would enable Ghana to manage her resources for the benefit of the people.
It will also provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences in resource management that could be applied to the current and future situations and thereby prepare the country and its institutions for the challenges of the oil and gas development.
Mr Arne Olsen, a Counselor at the Norwegian Embassy said his country’s cooperation with Ghana “is under its Oil for Development Programme which is aimed at assisting emerging petroleum economies to manage their oil resources for the benefit of people.”
Mr Olsen said under the programme Norway was assisting over 22 countries to manage their oil resources. The Acting Director of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy, Mr Kweku Boateng later told the Times that “once the country has been able to determine its capacity needs is the petroleum sector in terms of skill and technology, it can then seek assistance from its developing partners to bridge the skill and technology shortfall in the sector.”
Source: The Ghanaian Times/Ghana
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