Category: Energy & Petroleum Created on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 11:43 Published Date
From MASAHUDU KUNATEH in Accra Ghana
ACCRA, (CAJ News) - WEST Africa's fastest growing economy, Ghana has set up a new body, the National Petroleum Commission (NPC) to regulate the country’s booming upstream petroleum industry.
This implies that any oil company seeking permit to work in the industry in Ghana would now have to do that at the National Petroleum Commission.
Chief Executive Officer of National Petroleum Commission, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, said his new commission assumed regulatory functions in Ghana’s oil and gas industry from effective May 1.
Prior the birth of National Petroleum Commission, the functions to oversee exploration of state oil and gas were performed by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The Petroleum Commission established last year by an Act will now regulate and monitor the management and utilization of petroleum resources and provide for related purposes.
Donkor said there was currently a roll out plan that would see the commission eventually taking full regulatory functions by August this year.
“From 1st May we are taking over all the administrative responsibilities for registering and approving company licenses to come to work in the industry so we are rolling out over a period of time,” Dr. Donkor said.
“That is not to say we will not consult the GNPC, because it is our national oil company and it is important that the Commission as a regulator would consult GNPC, Ghana Gas Company and the contractors and try and fashion out workable arrangements for the industry.”
The Board Chairman would be Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah who was the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
Other members of the board include Arthur Peters who is a lecturer at the University of Ghana and Alhaji Salifu Mahama, a member of the Civil Society group, the civil society platform on oil and gas.
The board is expected to be sworn in by the President Attah Mills before Sunday this week.
The Petroleum Commission is expected to ensure optimal utilization of existing and planned petroleum infrastructure so that contractors, subcontractors and other persons involved in petroleum activities comply with applicable laws and regulations.
It will also be responsible for receiving petroleum data, manage a national petroleum database and at the request of the Energy Minister, undertake reconnaissance exploration including data acquisition; assess applications and issue permits for specific petroleum activities as required under petroleum laws and regulations.