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Extractive sector cadastral system needs upgrade — Dr Manteaw

By: Jessica Acheampong
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Dr Steve Manteaw, Co-Chair of GHEITI
Dr Steve Manteaw, Co-Chair of GHEITI

 The Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) has asked government agencies in charge of the country’s extractive online cadastral to upgrade it to meet contract disclosure requirement by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The Co-Chair of GHEITI, Dr Steve Manteaw said the upgrade would make the system respond to the requirements of the EITI standards.

In an interview on October 11, he said although the Petroleum Register by the Petroleum Commission for the oil and gas provides access to the contracts, the mining cadastral system by the Minerals Commission did not and therefore fallen short of EITI contract disclosure requirement.

“Nothing has changed. The situation of the cadastral is what it was in 2016. The Minerals Commission still has to work on it to meet the EITI requirement,” he said.
 
GHEITI posits that the new online cadastral system for oil and gas did not provide information on oil bock coordinates and license payments and there was also no information on transfers and relinquishments of oil blocks.

“In order for the cadastral to be comprehensive and to address EITI requirements on license allocation and registry, the Petroleum Commission should endeavor to include the above,” the 2016 reconciliation committee report by the committee noted.

License register
Ghana is required to maintain a publicly available register or cadaster systems with timely and comprehensive information regarding each of the licenses pertaining to companies covered in its EITI reports.

The register is expected to provide information on license holders, coordinates of the license area where collated, date of application, date of award and duration of the license and in the case of production licenses, the commodity being produced.

Findings
The 2016 reconciliation report of GHEITI indicated that government receipts from the oil and gas companies in the year under review amounted to US$256.6 million.

Out of the royalty receipt of US$57. 9 million, an amount of US$50 million representing 86 per cent of total royalty was received from International Oil companies or partners at the Jubilee Field. This was however in kind payment of royalty oil which was lifted by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and sold on behalf of the government.
 
The report also indicated that a net discrepancy of US$431,541 was obtained at the end of the reconciliation. The main casue of the discrepancy was the difference between amounts submitted by the GNPC and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) as environmental permitting fees.

“The EPA stated an amount of US$25,762 whereas GNPC submitted US$457,3030 as payment for environmental permitting fees in 2016,” it said.

EITI in Ghana
The EITI I a global standard for improving transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The implementation of the EITI in Ghana is done by the Ghana EITI (GHEITI) steering committee.

Its main components is to promote transparency and accountability in extractive related payments among government and companies operating in the sector.

The 2016 report provided an overview of the oil and gas sector in Ghana, the legal regime and framework, licensing, contracts, beneficial ownership and state participation.

It also looks at revenue collection and allocation, distribution and management of extractive revenues and outcomes, and impact of the implementation of the initiative. 
So far, GHEITI has issued four reports in the oil and gas sector covering 2010 to 2015.