A former Managing Director of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Moses Oduro Boateng, has called for a more comprehensive legal framework to regulate the activities of all the oil industry players.
The present law, PNDC Law 84 and 188, he noted, did not go far enough and needed to be updated and strengthened in the face of changing trends in the sector.
Mr Boateng said it has become important to outline in some detail how revenues from the oilfields would be spent, put in place anti-corruption measures and ensure that the government used the money in a way that would be of utmost benefit to the people.
The country should begin to think more about tackling legal, fiscal and environmental issues, security concerns as well as socio-economic impact as it entered Phase One of the oil production.
Mr Boateng was delivering a paper on “The Jubilee discovery, opportunities and challenges”, at a public forum organized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in Kumasi.
It was meant to assist members of the Church to have an insight into the prospects, benefits and challenges associated with the oil production.
He expressed confidence that the production targets of 120,000 barrels of oil per day and 120 million cubic feet of gas set for the first three years were achievable.
The Phase Two, commencing in 2013, would see production levels increasing by 100 per cent for both crude oil and gas with gas production expected to hit 250 million cubic feet.
Mr Boateng cautioned against over-dependence on the oil and said countries that did this could find themselves in trouble due to fluctuations in oil prices and global economic shocks.
Ghana should adopt an integrated approach to developing all the vibrant sectors of the economy to lay solid foundation and build strong pillars to achieve economic breakthrough.
Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, pointed out that, oil drilling carries with it significant risk to the environment, and cited how gas flares, harmful bio-product and oil spills had already had a marked impact on the Niger River Delta in Nigeria.
Such problems occurring in Ghana represented a major threat to the environment and socio-economic well-being.
Ms Aryee urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement sternly, the environmental laws and guidelines governing oil and gas exploration, development, production and distribution, to protect the eco-system.