Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Civil society continues critique of petroleum revenue bill

The Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas has described the Petroleum E&P Bill as “hollow” and “incomplete”.

Speaking at an oil and gas workshop in Accra, spokesperson John Peter Amewu said: “There are no safeguards for incorporation of local companies to discourage fronting or shadowing; the status of Ghanaians in the development of marginal fields is missing in the Bill; and remedies for third party financing of petroleum operations in the event of a default by contractor during development phase is also missing.”

He also pointed out that the Bill has no gas flaring policy, fails to discuss the issue of delayed rental fees in the event of a deliberate delay in exploration and development, and allows too much ministerial discretion.

Amewu said that his organisation had sent a memo to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy underlining the discrepancies in the Bill and recommending the establishment of an independent regulatory authority.

Also speaking at the workshop, National Oil Co-ordinator of NGO Publish What You Pay Ghana, Mohammed Amin Adam, said the Bill should set up an oil spill response and advisery group, as well as a national oil spill detection agency.

He said that the Bill should also provide for full disclosure of petroleum contracts signed between the government and contractors, and create designated no-exploration zones to protect the livelihood of fishermen and farmers. Parliament is expected to pass the Bill when it resumes in late October.

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© 2010 Menas Associates

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