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Oil and Gas Audit Training Course for TPDC

Staff of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, the national oil company of Tanzania, took part in the “Financial Auditing in Oil and Gas” training course in Dar es Salaam in February. Warren Business Consulting’s Geoff Killick presented the programme to build local oil and gas auditing capabilities within 24 of TPDC’s professional staff. [Read more…]

Who should lead oil and gas companies?

Many folk coming on WBC education programmes have aspirations in leadership and management. But what does Leadership mean to people in an industry driven by science and technology?

At a recent lecture by Sir Mark Alport (The UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor) at Brunel University London the following question came up: [Read more…]

Warren Business Consulting Expands to Provide More Support for Management and Leadership in E&P

Warren Business Consulting, the specialist oil and gas training firm, is expanding to provide more leadership courses for executives in emerging markets. [Read more…]

Local Content: Effective in the Past, Problematic in the Future

National oil companies (NOCs) in developing countries have always had an important role to play in the transfer of technology and skills into the country, and as a vehicle for economic development.  And local content provisions have always had a key role to play in such endeavours.

But recent trends suggest that increasingly restrictive local content requirements will have unintended impacts across a range of issues, including labour costs and the ability of oil companies to deliver projects within challenging time schedules. [Read more…]

Trip to Freetown, Sierra Leone

I returned to Africa last month with a trip to Freetown, Sierra Leone.  As with my visit to Kampala, Uganda in October, it was a fascinating visit and very thought provoking.  As before, I’d like to end this article with a brief request for your help.  I’ll be asking for your input on the subject of licensing in oil and gas – your “Top Tip”.  Your contribution will take a tiny amount of your time but could have a big impact on the work of dedicated government officials in a developing country.  For those that didn’t get a chance to comment last time around please take a couple of minutes out of your day to share your insights.

[Read more…]

Capability Building in Africa

This month I would like to relate a recent trip to a country that is just starting out on its oil and gas journey.  It was a fascinating visit and very thought provoking.  I’d like to start this article with a short description of the visit and end with a brief request for help.  I’ll be asking for your brief thoughts on the subject of best practice in oil and gas – your “Top Tip”.  Your contribution will take a tiny amount of your time but could have a big impact on the work of dedicated government officials in a developing country.  Please read on!

In October I travelled to Kampala, Uganda, to assist with capability building in the oil and gas industry.  Together with Norton Rose we delivered a training programme titled “Oil and Gas Legislation and Agreements”.  This programme was sponsored and organised by the British High Commission in Kampala.

The aim of the 5 day course was to give the business and legal perspectives on how legislation and agreements work in oil and gas.  The programme was attended by 23 government officials – senior folks drawn from various government departments including the Ministry of Justice, Law Reform Commission, Directorate of Civil Litigation, Directorate of Legal Advisory Services, First Parliamentary Council, Registration Services Bureau, Revenue Authority, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

It was very clear that delegates are eager to do the best for their country and to ensure that the oil and gas industry develops in the optimum way.  All were therefore keen to learn as much as possible within the short amount of time we had together and as we went through each topic of the programme in turn the most common question by far was “What is best practice?”

This is a very valid and topical question.  Despite the heightened international media interest and increased local expectations driven by recent exploration success, the oil and gas industry in Uganda is still very much in its infancy.  In a strange way, initial success with the drill bit has underlined just how much uncertainty there is over how and what time frame the oil industry there will develop.

Therefore, when delegates asked about “What is best practice?” they were trying to find out what would be the most appropriate approach for Uganda to take.

For me, best practice is not something that can necessarily be lifted from one country or region and directly inserted into another.  Given the complexity of our industry and its challenges, off the shelf solutions will probably not work for Uganda (nor anywhere else starting out on its oil and gas journey).  The secret is to design legislation that uniquely addresses the needs of the local situation.  This will almost certainly require taking a look at what other countries have done and perhaps then hand-picking some approaches that have been tried before.  But the final solution should be uniquely Ugandan.

Amongst the factors to consider when drafting such legislation will be:

  • National policies and strategies and how oil and gas fits in to the development of the country.
  • The degree to which the State wishes to share risk with investors.
  • The level of desired competition within the country.
  • How to encourage activity by investors (e.g. encouraging exploration).

Those are my thoughts on best practice in oil and gas legislation and agreements, but what are yours?

This note is going out to many people in the industry with a collective experience of literally thousands and thousands of years.  The politicians, NGOs, development agencies and others all have their views on best practice in legislation and agreements, but what do the industry insiders amongst us think?

Please use the comments area to suggest the one thing that you think is important to get right in the area of oil and gas legislation and agreements.  If you prefer you can leave your comment anonymously.  Or you can email me directly.  Either way, I will ensure that your experience and insights are passed on to my friends in Uganda.

For those reading this in Kampala please feel free to comment on the nature of the challenges you face, as you see it, or to debate the issue that I have raised.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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