Gov’t Will Enforce Petroleum Law —Veep

amissah-arthurVice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says the government will not compromise on the implementation of the local content law for the petroleum sector, adding that the active participation of Ghanaians remains vital for the benefit of the economy.

He said the government was determined to achieve the desired benefits from the introduction of the law, stressing that there was a need for locals to derive maximum benefits from the oil resource.

He said although the government had taken note of concerns of investors regarding some difficulties in the Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2013, the local content interventions would be made to work.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said these in Accra yesterday when he granted audience to executives of Kosmos Energy, a leading oil production firm in the country, at the Flagstaff House.

The Kosmos executive, led by the company’s chairman and chief executive, Andy Inglis, were at the Flagstaff House to inform the Vice President of some operational expansion interventions and collaboration with the government towards extracting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to support the country’s energy production efforts.

The Vice-President recalled discussion about Ghana’s local content laws at the recent World Economic Forum in Houston, USA, indicating that he had duly briefed the President about the concerns raised about the practicability of some of the provisions of the law.

He cited some of the concerns as the allocation of five per cent counterpart funding in oil production investments to Ghanaians as well as the criminalisation of commercial activities undertaken without tender, as some of the provisions the operators want reviewed.

According to him, the implementation of the law was being monitored to identify the best way out of the technical difficulties.

“We are not averse to a review of the law,” he said, but noted that it had to be approached with caution to ensure that optimum benefits were derived by all sides.

Touching on the LNG, he called for speedy and effective discussions between the government and production partners to secure more gas to aid thermal energy generation.

“We are working to ensure that gas prospects are utilised quickly to enhance power generation,” he said.

Vice-President Amissah-Arthur lauded Kosmos’ intention to pump additional two billion dollars into oil investment in Ghana, but believed the company could do more.

Mr. Inglis, earlier, informed the Vice President that the company had so far invested three billion dollars in Ghana, and was prepared to expand its operations with the additional two billion dollars.

According to him, the firm was exploring ways of working with the government to support sustainable energy production, and announced on-going talks with the sector ministry on the LNG exploration.

“We are looking forward to a continued strong and successful partnership with Ghana,” he said.

Benjamin Kwaku Dagadu, a Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, who led the Kosmos team to the Flagstaff House, was optimistic of Ghana securing good levels of LNG from the oil fields to aid power generation.

He said the ministry was keen on exploring the LNG “because we consider that gas as an insurance against any difficulties that may confront the main gas project.” By Edmund Mingle

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