Government is taking a further step to deepen transparency and provision of information about the country’s petroleum industry to Ghanaians, Deputy Minister for Energy in charge petroleum Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has revealed.
According to him, the government will in the coming days lay the General Petroleum Regulations in Parliament for it to passed in order to provide more information about the petroleum industry to Ghanaians.
Currently, Petroleum Commission has developed Petroleum Register in line with section 56 of the Petroleum(Exploration and Production) Act, 2016, Act 919.
The Register which is an online portal provides petroleum agreements, licenses, permits and authorizations.
So far the Register contains 17 Petroleum Agreements, 30 Registration permits, 34 Exploration permits and 3 Production permits.
Speaking at the opening of three days 3rd African Petroleum Data Management workshop in Accra, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam said when the General Petroleum Regulations is laid before Parliament and is passed it will ensure disclosure of beneficial ownership details of contractors and licensees.
“Other relevant information to be disclosed through the register will include:licenses to install and operate facilities for transport, treatment and storage of petroleum; permits to commence installation and operation of a facility for transport, treatment and storage of petroleum; production or injection permits for petroleum or water; flaring or venting authorizations for natural gas ;unitisation agreements ; area coordination agreements ; long-term sale of natural gas agreements ;and permitted mortgages of participating interests in petroleum agreements,” Dr Amin Adam said.
The workshop which is under the theme “Embracing a paradigm shift in Data Management: An Africa Synergy story” attracted participants from Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia Sudan, Norway and Ghana.
The register, he explained will become a one-stop-shop platform for accessing all economic and infrastructure data relating to the petroleum industry.
GNPC Disclosure Policy
As part of government decision to deal with the suspicion Ghanaians have about the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation(GNPC), Dr Amin Adam said, GNPC will soon publish its public disclosure framework to guide the disclosure of key economic and commercial data to improve transparency and advance the course of public accountability.
He said this has become necessary because national oil companies are often viewed with suspicion by citizens and through this the GNPC hopes to provide leadership in demystifying this perception.
In accordance with the Petroleum Exploration& Production Act 2016, Act 919, Ghana is set to launch its first Licensing Rounds for Exploration & Production Rights of acreage in its Continental margin from the third quarter of this year.
“For the first Licensing round 6 of 9 blocks demarcated within the Western Basin will be allocated,” Dr Amin Adam said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission Mr Egbert Faibille (Jnr) who emphasized the importance of Petroleum Data in his welcome address noted that Petroleum Data is indeed a national asset and therefore must be harnessed and protected as such.
“It is in pursuit of optimising our storage and utilization of our national asset, the Petroleum Commission, that Ghana sought technical assistance from Oil for Development(OfD), Norway, in 2009 to build a National Data Centre while the World Bank also provided financial assistance in 2010 through the Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project(OGCP) for the building of Data Centre,” he said.
Touching on the importance of the workshop, Mr Egbert Faibille said the Commission is keen in participating in the African Petroleum Data Management workshops because “we are aware of the manifold advantages such collaborative relations and acknowledge sharing with other OfD partner countries provide for us.”