Petroleum Portfolio Committee
The exploration success in East Africa in recent years has the potential to yield significant economic and social benefits to the economies involved. Substantial barrels of oil have been discovered onshore in Uganda and Kenya, and offshore Tanzania. As with Kenya, the exploration of oil and gas in Tanzania began in the 1950s, with the first natural gas discovery in early 1974 in Songo Songo and a second discovery in Mtwara Region (Mnazi Bay) in 1982. These early discoveries make Tanzania the most mature of East Africa’s oil and gas producers as it has been producing gas from on and nearshore fields since 2004.
On the one hand, the oil and gas industry in Kenya is governed by the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, Chapter 308 of the Laws of Kenya (PEPA) and the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Regulations 1984 promulgated under the PEPA. Two fundamental laws governed the legal framework for petroleum and gas exploration and development in Tanzania, the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act [Cap. 328 R.E. 2002] (the PEPA) and the Petroleum Act 2008 (the PA 2008). In June 2015, the two laws were amalgamated to form one new consolidated legislation; the Petroleum Act, 2015 (the PA 2015). The PA 2015 came into force on 25 September 2015. In Uganda, the relevant legislation governing petroleum exploration and production activities is as follows: — The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2013 (the ‘Upstream Act’). — The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) (Conduct of Exploration Operations) Regulations, S.I. 150-1 (the ‘Petroleum Regulations’).
Objectives of PPC
The following are the objectives of the Petroleum Portfolio Committee
(a) To enhance Regional harmonisation of quality standards to improve cross border trading of petroleum products among the EREA Member states.
(b) Establishment of stable and sustainable regulatory regimes in EREA countries to encourage continued improvements in the upstream and downstream petroleum and natural gas sub sectors to match economic growth
(c) To initiate the development of standards that will ensure that the petroleum infrastructure in the EREA member countries are maintained at required operational levels so as to guarantee stable supplies of petroleum products across the EREA member countries.
(d) To encourage exchange and recommendation of best practice for the regulation of the petroleum and natural gas supply chain (from port or processing plant or refinery to pump or burner-tip) in the EREA member countries.
(e) Through fuel marking and monitoring program, to facilitate maintenance of the quality of petroleum products in the EREA member countries with the aim of assisting their respective Revenue and Standards bodies to curb fuel adulteration and dumping of transit and tax exempted petroleum products.
(f) To propose for enforcement of Health, Safety and Environment standards in the Oil and Gas sectors in the EREA member countries.
(g) To propose standards for enforcement of efficient road, rail and pipeline distribution of Oil and Gas products EREA member countries and
(h) To facilitate field visits and benchmarking for Oil & Gas infrastructure and projects in the EREA member countries.