Commission finalizes petroleum measurement regulations to get Ghana fair share

Theo Ahwireng – CEO, Petroleum Commission

The Petroleum Commission is on the verge of introducing petroleum measurement regulations to standardize petroleum measurements in the upstream sector and ensure Ghana gets its fair share of revenue from oil and gas production.

The draft regulations, part of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill currently in parliament, are being finalized and expected to be presented to the Attorney General for legislative drafting, and then to Parliament by the Ministry of Petroleum.

“We expect that this will take place next month,” Mr Theo Ahwireng, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission told journalists.

The regulations which seek to standardize measurements across the petroleum production value chain, include specifications such as the allowed uncertainty and confidence levels in metering systems, frequency of inspection and recalibration, protocol in the event of measurement faults, correction of mismeasurements, sanctions and so on.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission Theo Ahwireng, told journalists at a consultative forum between the Commission and stakeholders, that the regulations will apply to all operators within the jurisdiction of Ghana.

He explained that though coming after several years of oil and gas production in Ghana, the new regulations do not imply any loss for the country since production began and will be an improvement, replacing already existing fiscal metering systems.

“Countries like the United Kindgom, the United States, having produced oil for tens and tens of years are still developing new regulations. Some of them are new, some of them are modifications. When you keep doing this, just like a professional, you keep improving yourself,” Mr Ahwireng said.

“In many jurisdictions around the world, every now and then constitutions, laws, regulations and guidelines are improved upon as technology changes and as understanding changes.”

Currently, he said, officials from the Petroleum Commission, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) monitor the measurement of oil and gas production on site, with significant redundancy in the production chain, along with the operators.

The Chief Executive Officer was hopeful parliament would soon make a final review of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill and pass it.

The development of the petroleum measurement regulations started in November 2012 and was done by a cross-institutional team with representatives from the Petroleum Commission, the Ministry of Petroleum, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Ghana Standards Authority, and consultants from the Norway’s regulator – the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate – with over 40 years of experience.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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