The Kenya Civil Society platform for oil and gas (KCSPOG) has officially launched the agenda setting report dubbed “setting the agenda for the development of Kenya’s oil and gas resources- the perspective of civil society”. The launch was officiated by Hon. MP Jamleck Kamau, chair of energy committee in the national assembly.
In his key note address, the MP noted, the legal and regulatory frameworks were key to strong institutions frameworks, resource revenue management as well as transparency and accountability, in the oil and gas sector.
So far the Kenyan petroleum exploration development and production Bill 2014 offers a good starting point in the development of the regulatory framework of oil and gas.
He however observed that it was important to maintain growth in other non-resource sectors of the economy like farming, energy among others even as the oil and gas sector expands and grow.
Kenya like many other African countries is undergoing discoveries of her minerals and oil wealth hence proper measures need to be put in place if the country is to gain maximum benefits following these discoveries.
Key features of the petroleum exploration, Development and production Bill
A national policy for upstream petroleum operations. The policy is supposed to be reviewed after every 5years.
Ownership of the state over petroleum resources. This vests petroleum resources in the Government in the trust for the people.
Integrated development of oil fields and common use of infrastructure which ensures that discoveries in two separate blocks can be developed as a unit operating area using common infrastructure.
Distribution of the government share of petroleum revenues shall consist of 75% to the central Government, 20% to the County Government and 5% to the local community where oil is being extract.
Local content of in the Bill recognizes the concept of “local-local content” in which communities near extraction are given first preference in the provision of services. It also provide for a training fund which will be used to finance capacity development of local personnel.
Environmental provisions include the polluter pay principle in which oil companies are fully liable for any pollution or damage caused by petroleum operations.
Community rights including the right to be consulted before commencement of an oil project, and the right to adequate compensation when petroleum operations adversely affect their interest.
Licensing of oil concessions through competitive public tender. This limits the influences of political and bureaucrats in the award of Petroleum Agreements.
Transparency in the oil industry, a commitment to publishing information on production volume, petroleum revenues, and other relevant data on a project-by-project basis