Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday assured of government’s commitment to developing an efficient and effective regulatory environment for the petroleum industry for Ghana to become the petroleum hub in the West Africa sub-region.
To that end, he said, the government was developing a robust institutional framework and legislations to ensure environmental safety, fair, transparent and value for money in the exploitation of the hydrocarbon resources.
Therefore, the government would continue to collaborate with international agencies to learn international best practices towards the realisation of the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda, he said.
Vice President Bawumia said this at the opening of the 11th International Upstream Forum (IUF), organised by the Petroleum Commission in Accra. Ghana is the first country in Africa to host the International Upstream Forum.
The event attracted association of petroleum experts, regulatory agencies and policy-makers, to discuss challenges facing the petroleum industry, share ideas and experiences to ensure optimum benefit for resource-rich nations.
There were delegations from seven countries including, Nigeria, Uganda, Mozambique, United Kingdom, USA, Canada and Norway.
Vice President Bawumia mentioned some legislative instruments and regulatory frameworks that had been instituted for sound and safe environmental practices to attract investments in the sector.
These include the Petroleum Management Act and Petroleum Exploration and Production Regulation of 2011 as well as the development of Jubilee Oilfield, TEN Oilfield and Integrated Offshore Cape Three Points.
Dr. Bawumia assured of government’s commitment to equipping the youth with relevant skills and expertise to participate in the oil and gas sector.
He said the government would be responsive to the rapidly changing technological needs of the petroleum industry by adopting contemporary innovative technologies, to derive maximum benefit for the nation.
Dr. Bawumia outlined some strategies the government had instituted to improve monitoring and compliance of petroleum laws to ensure transparent and productive industry.
Some of the strategies, he said, the government adopted include opening new areas of exploration and production, engineering the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation as a standby operator to invest in the sector, building the vocational skills of the youth to explore the oil and gas industry and promulgate robust regulatory regime for effective governance of the industry.
Mr. John Peter Amewu, the Energy Minister, in an address, acknowledged that Ghana was still an emerging zone in the petroleum industry, therefore, it was ready to learn and share ideas with matured jurisdictions for sustainable utilisation of the resources.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to developing efficient policies and regulatory regime to attract the needed investments in the sector.
Mr. Egbert Faibille Junior, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, in his welcome address, said the Commission was poised to become a world-class regulatory body and would continue to foster strategic alliances to help build efficient upstream sector in Ghana.
He expressed the conviction that the objectives of the Forum would be realised at the end of the meeting.