Parliament on Thursday, August 4, 2016, passed the Petroleum Production and Exploration Bill.
The Bill is among other things expected to regulate activities within the country’s oil and gas sector and ensure value for money.
Until the passage of the E&P Bill, the country’s oil sector was regulated by the PNDC Law 84 which some industry watchers cited as having some shortfalls which made it difficult to operate in conformity with modern terms of the petroleum industry.
In the view of the African Centre for Energy Policy, ACEP, the E&P Bill will bring more competitiveness into the granting of oil contracts which they have argued in some cases were conducted without necessarily passing through the competitive bidding process.
Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah also believes the passage will attract investments as more multinationals will demonstrate interest in operating in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Meanwhile the House has also approved other Bills within the financial circles.
These include the Customs Amendment Bill which seeks to revise and consolidate existing provisions in relation to the imposition of customs duties into one single Act to make it user friendly and to provide for related matters.
Until the passing of the amendment, the provisions relating to the customs operations remain scattered in the Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) (management) Act, 1993 (PNDCL 330), CEPS (amendment) Act 2002 (Act 634) and the Customs House Agent (Licensing) Act, 1978 (SMCD 188) among other.
The act if assented to by the President will correct this defect.
Also, Parliament on Thursday approved the Companies Act.