Petroleum Commission to ensure local participation in oil industry; Bill for National Assembly this week
The Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill 2017 will be tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday (April 13, 2017) by the Minister of Natural Resources.
It will then be taken to a Special Select Committee where it will undergo further scrutiny and refining.
The Bill is the first in a raft of newly developed legislation for the oil and gas sector has already undergone a number of changes following consultations with various stakeholders.
The Ministry of Natural Resources says it expects that the Select Committee process will be completed, and the Bill passed into law before the annual recess commences in August 2017.
The Bill has 51 Clauses and will create the Petroleum Commission that will have the responsibility for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the policies, laws and agreements for petroleum operations. It will also, among other things, be responsible for ensuring compliance with health, safety and environmental standards and ensure local content and local participation in all of the activities.
The Petroleum Commission will also have an advisory role to the Minister on matters related to the conduct of the industry and will be managed by a Board of Directors that will comprise experts in various fields as well as representatives of civil society and the parliamentary opposition. The Act provides for the Minister to Chair the Commission if a Chairperson is not appointed.
The Commission will also ensure that it accesses the necessary research into the industry so as not to be reliant purely on data that the petroleum operators provide.
It will be tasked with reviewing and recommending to the Minister for approval, amendment or
rejection the plans, proposals, reports, analyses, data and any other information submitted by an applicant or operator for the granting or renewal of a petroleum prospecting licence or a petroleum production licence.
According to the Bill, the commission will have the responsibility of participating in the “measurement of petroleum to allow for estimation and assessment of royalty and profit oil or gas due to the State and be responsible for the approval of the exercise; ascertain the cost oil or gas due to operators; provide necessary information to the relevant authority for the collection of taxes and fees from petroleum operations;…monitor conditions of operators and their trade practices to ensure that competition and fair practice is maintained.”
The Petroleum Commission shall also be responsible for the collection and recovery of all rents, fees, royalties, penalties, levies, tolls and any other charges payable under the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act and any other revenues of the Commission.