Ghana launches guidelines to manage environmental challenges of oil sector

Ghana on Friday took yet another important step to manage the potential environmental challenges that would arise in its fledgling oil and gas industry, introducing a manuscript to regulate the sector’s offshore activities.

The document: “Guidelines for Environmental Assessment and Management of Offshore Oil and Gas Development in Ghana”, is one of the key measures designed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to mainstream environment, health, safety and community issues into the offshore oil and gas operations.

The technical guidelines is intended to assist industry understand Ghana’s environmental assessment process, identify, assess and manage environmental impacts associated with petroleum exploration, development and production activities in Ghana’s exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf beyond its territory.

Mr Samuel Anku, Director for Intersectoral Network of the EPA, at the launch of the guidelines in Accra said, the document had been prepared to ensure sustainable development of the offshore oil and gas resources.

He said the set of rules would also contribute towards sound environmental management in the sector and minimize the adverse effects of the industry on the country’s ecosystem, to guarantee sustained economic development.

The document establishes a system for identifying and managing environmental impacts associated with offshore operations and provides industry and government with clarity on the current regulatory requirements.

It also provides for dialogue between industry and government to address opportunities and risk in the industry, and considers the effects on the ecosystem, the well-being of the people involved in the oil and gas operations and those who the sector would affect.

Mr Sissi Wilson, EPA’s Board Chairman, said government would continue to support the retooling and revitalization of the Agency to perform its statutory functions satisfactorily.

Source: GNA

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