By J. Ato Kobbie, Managing Editor

The Ministry of Energy has described as baseless accusations by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that governance of the petroleum sector had been abandoned since it left office.

NPP
NPP

?GNPC had encroached upon the roles of others, going as far as issuing blocks which should be in the domain of the Petroleum Commission, therefore stifling development in the area,? Mr. Ambrose Dery, MP for?Lawra/Nandom and Deputy Minority Leader had alleged when giving highlights of the NPP Manifesto at the Accra International Conference Center on Saturday, August 25, 2012.

?Besides it has breached the ?no flare? policy for the gas and as a result by the end of 2011 Ghana had lost $2.3billion and has also lost the opportunity of lower electricity tariffs by the use of gas and the possibility of producing gas as a by-product,? Mr. Dery had added.

?Under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, sanity would be restored into the governance and the petroleum resource of the nation would be utilized for the benefit of the people,? he submitted.

But the Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, says it is regrettable that a political party that wants Ghanaians to entrust it with the governance of the country would be putting in its manifesto, which is its social contract with Ghanaians, plain falsehood.

He described as false Mr. Dery?s assertion that gas from the Jubilee Field was being flared, saying that the gas is being re-injected into the field reservoir and it is only what was technically required to be flared that was being flared.

?Besides, the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) was set up in July 2011 to put in place the necessary gas infrastructure, which it is working on assiduously,? Mr. Buah emphasized.

He said contrary to the NPP claim, governance of the petroleum sector had improved and cited the passage of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), the establishment of the Petroleum Commission to regulate the upstream sector, which has left the Ministry to focus on policy issues and GNPC playing the commercial role through the allocation of some of the required revenues.

He said these measures have been put in place to strengthen governance of the sector by introducing greater transparency and ensuring that partners complied with rules and regulations in the sector for Ghana to maximize its benefits from the sector.

?GNPC does not issue licenses for blocks; Its discussions with international oil companies is only in keeping with its legal mandate to partner entities who intend to operate in Ghana,? Mr. Buah said, emphasizing that the role of licensing continues to rest with the Government of Ghana and the Petroleum Commission.

?No blocks can be issued without the final approval of Parliament of which Ambrose Dery is a member,? Mr. Buah concluded, dismissing the claims of Mr. Dery and the NPP.

This article was originally published in The Business Analyst of Wednesday, 29th August ? Tuesday, 4th September, 2012. E-mail: [email protected]

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