May 6, 2014

Parliament has been urged to consider best practices in the oil and gas industry in relation to metering before approving the Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill.

The Executive Director of the African Center for Energy Policy, ACEP, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, made the call at a Stakeholders’ forum on the Petroleum Bill organized in Takoradi by ACEP and Friends of the Nation.

It was attended by representatives of fishermen associations and traditional leaders.

Dr Amin Adam said the issue of metering has been the bane of most developing countries which produce oil. He said Nigeria for instance is reported to have lost about 62 Billion Dollars as a result of metering defects and cautioned that the authority for the installation of meters must not be left alone to the International Oil Companies.

He suggested that the Bill should be consistent with policy and the Minister of Energy and Petroleum must not be given discriminatory powers as it was contained in the bill presently.

Dr Amin Adam proposed that the fund must be differentiated as in Canada where there is a separate fund for the indigenes from the area where the oil reserve is found in line with the local content factor.

The Chairman of the Ghana National Canoe Fisher Council, Nana Kodwo Conduah asked the various fishermen associations to unite and make an input to the bill before it is passed by Parliament.

The Chief of Essippong, Nana Kofi Abuna expressed satisfaction with the convening of the forum which, he said underscores the need for community concerns to be factored into the bill before it is passed.

The Chief of Lower Dixcove, Nana Kwasi Agyemang advised fishermen to seek the services and assistance of technical persons to help them engage duty bearers with their challenges and concerns.

The Paramount Chief of the Western Nzema Traditional Council, Awulae Annor Adjaye who presided over the forum advised the fishermen associations to employ the services of a lawyer as is the practice in the United States of America, since most of the issues involve legalities.