In February 2009, CEPIL with funding support from International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) a United Kingdom research and advocacy think-tank, organized a three-day training workshop on “Legal Empowerment on Petroleum Contracts – Strengthening Voice and Accountability in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Sector”.
The workshop aimed at exploring legal tools that are used by governments to improve the quality of governance and project-specific arrangements in oil exploration so that the investment in the oil sector will contribute to sustainable developmental goals like poverty reduction and environmental protection. It also sought the views of participants on how citizens can be empowered in order to derive greater benefits from investments in the oil sector. Participants were drawn from civil society organizations, government institutions and individuals from within and outside the shores of Ghana.
Topics discussed during the three day workshop include:
- Legal framework and levers in the oil and gas project cycle
- Legal Aspects of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in Ghana
- Oil and Gas Contracts: Legal Issues and Experience from Nigeria
- Contracts and revenue sharing mechanisms – an international perspective
- Fiscal aspects of oil and gas exploration and production
- Sharing oil & gas revenue in Uganda a Civil Society Proposal
- Investor protection and Sustainable Development goals
- Local content requirement in oil and gas projects
- Advocacy and communication tools for citizens’ empowerment
Issues that came up for discussion during presentations included:
- The multiplicity of parties involved in oil and gas exploration, production and transportation as well as the complexity of legal frameworks.
- The laws and regulatory bodies governing oil and gas exploration in Ghana,
- Experiences of Nigeria such as the nature of contracts, exclusion of community members and local authorities in oil exploration as well as the non-accessibility of the various oil and gas contracts by the public which as resulted in violence and conflicts.
- The various systems of sharing oil and gas revenue