Western Regional Chiefs attend workshop on petroleum industry

OilThe Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is drafting legislative instruments (LI) that would strengthen the existing petroleum laws in their application.

The LIs are on health, safety and environment, fiscal metering, data management and general petroleum regulations, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the sector Minister dropped the hint at Busua in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.

He was opening a three –day training workshop on the Petroleum Industry, organised by the Minister for the Regional House of Chiefs.

The training workshop aimed at equipping and educating the traditional rulers on developments of the petroleum industry to enable them to assess and understand the local content law to identify opportunities available to their people.

Mr Armah-Kofi Buah said following the approval of the natural gas law by Cabinet, a draft gas master plan has been developed to provide a framework for gas commercialisation in the country.

He said in with the government’s medium term strategies, policy interventions, legislations and regulations such as the development of exploration and production bill as well as the local content in petroleum have been initiated.

On oil production from the Jubilee Field off Cape Three Points, the Minister said with a production of 105,000 barrels per day, production stepped up with a total production of 28,017,990 barrels as at September this year.

He said to enhance the pace of exploration activities, eight new petroleum agreements with fiscal terms were ratified by parliament.

Touching on the Voltaian Basin Project, he said the Ghana National Petroleum Company has been mandated to spearhead reconnaissance activities geared towards enhancing the prospectivity of the basin and also to establish petroleum system and thermal maturity in the basin.

Mr Armah-Kofi Buah was of the view that the programme would position the chiefs to relate with the stakeholders in the industry and become agents of change in their communities.

Mr Theo Awhireng, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission said the oil companies have been mandated by law to engage the services of the local people and ensure their full participation.

The local employees are also to enjoy satisfactory benefits just as the expatriates.

Mr Awhireng urged Ghanaians to acquire skills that would qualify them to gain employment in the oil companies as the oil/gas industry is a technical field.

He was speaking on “developments of the Oil/Gas industry in Ghana”, and understanding the Local Content and Local Participation law.

The chiefs expressed displeasure about the inability of the oil companies to employ their people despite the efforts they have made towards the venture, thereby making them laughing stock before their people.

They also called for the institution of an effective environmental impact assessment to address pollution as a result of the flaring of gas.

The chiefs are being taken through other topics such as “review of the petroleum, exploration and procurement bill”.

Source: GNA

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