By Fred Sarpong
The Petroleum Commission (PC), the regulator of the petroleum industry in Ghana has started registering all companies operating in and around the petroleum sector in the country.
The initiative by the commission is to identify the number of both local and international companies currently operating in the petroleum sector.
Dr. Juliette Twumasi-Anokye, Legal Advisor to the commission announced this at the official launch of the Offshore West African conference in Accra. ‘It will also allow us to know the number of Ghanaians employed within the petroleum sector,’ said Dr. Twumasi-Anokye.
In an interview with Business Week, Dr. Twumasi-Anokye said they are registering every company operating under the laws of Ghana in the petroleum sector, including the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC).
According to her, during the registration all companies must pay fees to the commission. She stated that local companies, with majority shareholding of about 51% belonging to Ghanaians must pay GHc2,000 as registration fees.
However, exploration and service firms operating within the petroleum sector with foreign majority stake will pay a registration fee of US$7,000 and above.
She indicated that the commission has registered quite number companies and more companies are also coming in for licenses before can operate in the petroleum sector.
Dr. Twumasi-Anokye said before the registration is done, there are certain criteria’s that will be demanded. These include the details of the company’s directors, stated capital and shareholding structure of the company.
The Petroleum Commission was established by an ACT and is to regulate and monitor the management and utilization of petroleum resources and provided for related purposes. This means that the GNPC now been regulated by the commission.
The PC expected to promote, planned and executed sustainable and cost efficient petroleum activities in Ghana, in order to have a petroleum sector that will benefit the entire nation.
It will advice the Energy Minister on matters related to petroleum activities and recommend to the Minister, national policies that borders petroleum activities. It will also monitor and ensure compliance with national policies related to petroleum activities.
The commission is expected to ensure optimal utilization of existing and planned petroleum infrastructure so that contractors, subcontractors and other persons involved in petroleum activities comply with application laws and regulations.
It will be responsible for receiving petroleum data, manage a national petroleum database and at the request of the Minister, undertake reconnaissance exploration including data acquisitions, assess applications and issue permits for specific petroleum activities as required under petroleum laws and regulations.