Ghana is set to announce an action policy, through the Petroleum Commission, to protect the country’s oil and gas industry interests, and Ghanaians when giving out oil blocks to multinational companies.
Speaking on the issue at the 11th International Upstream Forum held in Accra, the country’s Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said that government will use the regulators in the industry to protect the interest of Ghanaians.
“We realise that the business case of the international oil companies and the regulator may not always converge. The challenge for the regulator is how to reconcile both objectives,”citinewsroom.com quoted the vice president yesterday.
He maintained that government will ensure that the industry continue to attract the needed investments for exploration and production and at the same time achieve the public goals. Bawumia stressed that government’s ultimate goal is to utilize the country’s scarce resources prudently to improve the lives of Ghanaians.
Touching on the action policy for the petroleum upstream sector, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Egbert Faibille Junior stated that the new action policy which is in its final stages will soon be outdoored to strengthen Ghana’s position in giving out oil blocks, the report said.
He observed that the policy will consolidate all laws in the petroleum upstream sector, while accessing similar action policies used by member countries of the International Upstream Forum. The report also quoted the minister for energy, John Peter Amewu saying that the ministry will continue to review the country’s energy policies to make sure it is in tandem with modern laws.
Ghana is the first African country to host the International Upstream Forum. This year’s forum brought together countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, U.S Norway, Australia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.
The purpose of hosting the event according to the organizers is position Ghana among oil-producing countries to access processes that have been used by some of these nations. In a bid to make Ghana the petroleum hub in the West African sub-region, government invited multinational companies to establish their headquarters in Ghana.
Some petroleum analysts have however warned that the country must position itself properly to negotiate in favour of its citizens before releasing oil blocks to these multinational companies.