The Ministry of Natural Resources on Monday announced the release of the draft Petroleum Activities Bill for public consultation.
In a statement, the Ministry said the Petroleum Activities Bill replaces the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 1986 and is part of efforts by the government to modernise the legal and regulatory framework related to the petroleum sector.
The Petroleum Activities Bill introduces significant improvements and safeguards related to safety, emergency response, cross-border unitisation, supervision and monitoring requirements and authorises the minister to prescribe regulations about key administrative and operational aspects of exploration and production activities.
It also expands the scope of regulation to include storage and pipeline transportation aspects of the oil and gas sector and empowers the government to regulate activities associated with the geological storage of carbon dioxide.
Exploring opportunities for potential CO2 storage sites will enable the government to develop petroleum resources while seeking to minimise their carbon footprint, the Ministry said.
The Bill is expected to be supplemented by a set of regulations that will follow in the coming months and provide the government with the necessary toolbox for responsible and efficient management of petroleum activities within the Guyanese economy.
The government will also ensure that the terms of the draft petroleum agreements released in association with the first offshore licensing round are aligned with the provisions of the Petroleum Activities Bill.
The government has been continuously working to improve the overall management and regulation of the petroleum industry through various policy and legislative programmes.
These programmes included the enactment of the Local Content Act, the establishment of the Local Content Secretariat and a new Natural Resource Fund (NRF) law aimed at providing greater oversight and management of revenue flows.
Additionally, there have been new environmental permitting conditions and fees for the successive licences that have been issued and the conducting of cost recovery audits covering the periods from 1999 to 2022.
The draft Bill, which would be available for public feedback for two weeks commencing from Tuesday, 20th June to Monday, 3rd July 2023, can be accessed on the following websites: www.nre.gov.gy and www.petroluem.gov.gy.
All comments should be emailed to the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Permanent Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org during the feedback period.