Penplusbytes www.reportingoilandgas.org commends the Petroleum Commission, for the launch of the Petroleum Register in accordance with section 56 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, 2016 (Act 919) which directs the establishment and maintenance of a public register for all petroleum agreements, licenses, permits and authorizations. However, the online platform could be made more interactive to enable greater information and knowledge exchange.
Penplusbytes www.reportingoilandgas.org note with keen interest how the platform will ultimately bring about a certain level of transparency in the oil and gas sector. But, certain key challenges remain and Penplusbytes www.reportingoilandgas.org recommends the following actions to be undertaken by the Petroleum Commission to ensure the Register delivers on what it has been designed to do.
- Provide stakeholders with a single, cost-effective, authoritative source of secure, valid, standardized, sharable, and timely petroleum-related information.
- Present data in formats in which information can be retrieved immediately on-line through “Queries” and (or) downloadable in PDF, CSV or Excel formats.
- Make available and accessible to the public, beneficial owners of companies that have obtained rights to extract oil and gas in Ghana.
- Enhance citizens’ comprehension of the register by making it interactive where possible by adding visualizations, glossary of terms, a site search engine, live chat feature, pop-up help screens, clickable maps and interactive timelines.
- The platform provides useful additional information through hyperlinks however, certain relevant sections such as: permits to install and operate facilities, reconnaissance licenses, drilling permits are empty and should be updated as soon as possible.
By Gideon Ofosu-Peasah,Policy Analyst, Penplusbytes