Zachary Ochuodho @zachuodho
Oil and gas handlers in Kenya want a separate entity to deal with their issues instead of lumping them together under the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority as contained in the Energy Bill 2018.
Kenya Oil and Gas Association (Koga), Kenya Private Sector Alliance and Kenya Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy to present their case on the Energy Bill 2018 at County Hall sayiny they were concerned with three issues in the law that they would want changed.
The petroleum upstream oil and gas operations involve identifying deposits, drilling wells and recovering raw materials from underground. The sector also deals with issues such as rig operations, feasibility studies, machinery rental and extraction of chemical supply.
Franklin Juma, who represented Koga said there is need to have a single entity known as Petroleum Regulatory Authority to oversee the entire value chain, upstream, midstream and downstream.
“The Petroleum Regulatory Authority needs to be recognised as a stand-alone entity to deal with upstream activities,” said Juma.
He explained that the move to separate entities follows the split of Ministry of Energy and Petroleum into two separate entities performing different functions.
Juma contended that the three concerns they have regarding the bill relate to the issuance of operation permits, ratification by Parliament and sharing of petroleum resource and establishing one entity to deal with upstream matters.
He said unlike other entities, its members have been forced to apply for different licences as opposed to other institutions such as Geothermal – which only apply for one permit to carry out their activities.
“Applying for these permits consumes time and increases the cost of doing business,” Juma said. He asked for a reduction of the number of permits required to one.
However, Committee chairman, Eng Ephraim Maina, said reducing the number of permits would deny the government funds accrued from the licences.