Dr Kwame Donkor, Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission, has said the Commission would ensure that international oil companies meet the demands of the local content provisions across the broad spectrum of oil exploration and production.
He said the local content in the oil and gas industry was the centre piece of national development agenda and the Commission would ensure that contractors and subcontractors complied with the law.
Dr Donkor was speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on guidelines and procedures for the oil and gas industry in Accra, organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers Ghana and Ghana Oil Club to discuss new developments in the industry, including the guidelines for acquisition of work permit.
The Commission, Dr Donkor said, would place emphasis on the local content in all negotiations for the exploration of oil and gas and issue specific guidelines to enable Ghanaians maximise the benefits.
He debunked assertions that the country had no local content law, saying PNDC Law 84 had sections and specific provisions on local content that were binding and had been used in agreements with oil companies.
Dr Donkor said what the legislative instrument on local content, which was yet to be passed by Parliament, sought to do was to update the existing law and fill in the gaps in the face of new knowledge in the industry.
He assured stakeholders that the Commission as a national body would pursue the national interest rather than a partisan one to ensure that investors made good returns on their investments.
In doing this, Dr Donkor said, the Commission’s intentions were to keep to world standards in the regulations of the sector through the issue of guidelines, advice on policy and coordinate all petroleum activities and to ensure compliance.
He expressed optimism that the Petroleum Commission would become fully operational in July.
Dr Juliette Tumasi-Anokye, Officer-in-Charge of Legal Services at the Commission, said it was a misconception to say that there was no local content law.
She said specific provisions had been made in the Exploration and Production Law and these provisions had further been buttressed by agreement signed with the oil companies.
Dr Tumasi-Anokye said the Commission would be seeking from the companies their local content plans that spelt out the intentions of the companies on the promotion of Ghanaian interest in the industry.
She said the Commission would undertake the registration of service providers adding that key areas to be covered by the plan would include employment, training, research and development activities, technology transfer and legal services and insurance.
Mr Felix Addo, Senior Country Partner, PwC Ghana, said all necessary guidelines should be put in place to ensure that all sectors of the economy derived maximum benefits from the oil and gas industry.