Oil, gas act sufficient: Pok

Minister for Petroleum, Fabian Pok, says the current Oil and Gas Act (1998) is sufficient for both onshore and offshore gas projects.

He said this following the successful drilling and flaring of the Pasca A4 gas condensate offshore well.

Speaking to media after the milestone, Minister Pok said the Government will work within the confines of the current Act to underscore what is likely to be the country’s  first offshore gas project.

“If there is a need to cater for the offshore then we will. But at the moment, I think the oil and gas act is sufficient for onshore and offshore developments,” he said.

In June the national gas coordinating committee director, Peter Koim, said there are currently some loopholes in the oil and gas act that need review.

He said one of them is the 2 percent free carry equity for landowners.

“When the law was enacted, these particular areas were not looked at.

“Like now the Pasca Project, we’re using the oil and gas act to try and address the issue but then, the project has to make available 2 percent free carry equity to the landowner.

“But we don’t have landowners in the ocean. So who benefits from that 2 percent?” Koim asked.

Acting Department of Petroleum and Energy secretary, Kepsie Puiye, also stated that amendments could be made to sections of the Act, such as benefit streams.

Puiye stated then they will consult the government regarding the issue.

(File pic)

Cedric Patjole