The Kenya Oil and Gas Working Group has called on parliament to better define the roles of the petroleum cabinet secretary, national environment management authority and the upstream petroleum authority in the Petroleum (Exploration, Development & Production) Bill 2017 submissions to parliament.
According to the lobby the lack of clarity could lead to conflict between the CS Petroleum and mining, the Upstream Petroleum authority and Advisory Committee in the area of granting licenses and reporting to contractors.
“The Bill should provide greater clarity on the division responsibilities among the three institutions by providing a statement on the overall roles of the Cabinet Secretary, the Authority & Advisory Committee. ”
In the submissions KOGWG also cautions on the likelyhood of conflict between the Authority and NEMA as regards monitoring of upstream activities particularly in respect to the environment and is proposing for inclusion of a representative from the environmental agency in the Authority.
“This will help ensure consistency & clarity to avoid duplication of roles or confusion over which entity makes the final determination on particular issues.”
KOGWG has also raised issue with the membership of the Advisory Committee composition saying it is not representative of the sector with important players such as the National Land Commission, Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, representatives from professional bodies such as the Geological society of Kenya, the Petroleum Institute and the Academia all missing.
KOGWG has asked parliament to deduct the Authority’s powers to borrow and lend money saying the role of the body should be to set and enforce standards only.
“We recommend the deleting of this provision as this qualify the regulator to assume the role of a competitor in the sector.”
Still on the authority the lobby has further sought clarity on the criteria and qualifications for members to be appointed by the cabinet secretary.
KOGWG has also asked parliament to require contractors to deposit a decommission fund before commencing operations to be used in restitution after the closure of such projects.
Kenya Oil and Gas working Group advocates for sustainable development and good governance of the nascent Oil and Gas development sector in Kenya. The Kenya Oil and Gas Working Group was formed in 2009 and it provides a platform for constructive stakeholder and community engagement, and knowledge management contributing to good governance and sustainable development in the Oil and Gas sector.