COLUMNIST: Osei Bonsu Dickson (Barrister & Solicitor)
- Created on Friday, 08 July 2011 22:48
Osei Bonsu Dickson BA (Hons), LL.B (Hons), ECNIS (Harvard) LL.M (Ghana), Barrister. Dickson specializes in Oil & Gas law, Corporate law, Complex Litigation, AML/CTF, International Financial Criminal law and Risk Management.
Contact: +233 (0)241 022 964,
Radon Jenik argues that to the extent that health and environmental costs are not fully borne by oil companies, such companies are effectively receiving public subsidies. I argue in this article that parallel Jenik-style public subsidy arguments could be made where, due to inadequate or unsatisfactory environmental management systems, oil exploratory and production companies get away without bearing the full cost of environmental damage including future liability caused by their operations. The article mildly considers also the issue of extra-territoriality of US law as a remote remedy for environmental wrongdoing.
Post-oil find development approaches have been a particularly significant concern in 'prismatic' states. Increasingly, the value of a rights-based approach has gained traction in the oil development conversation overtime. This article advocates robustly for a rights-based model to oil related development in West Africa's Petro-States. Dickson argues that embedding a rights-based centric approach can help address environmental and human rights problems associated with offshore petroleum development in West Africa.
There are environmental regulatory gaps in the Ghanaian environmental framework relevant to upstream petroleum undertakings which still require our urgent attention. A clearer problem-appreciation can only be through a gap analysis to ascertain the extent of actual regulatory deficit. Canada- Nova Scotia's is highly regarded in terms of its comprehensive environmental regulation of upstream activities. In this article I attempt to explore technical environmental aspects this lacuna - which is only currently being filled with general not-so-good regulations applying from other jurisdictions
This work explores in some vital detail, the history of early petroleum exploration in Ghana since 1896. It is a must read for every researcher out in the field surveying what I shall term Ghanaian 'oilology'. It details essential information in a rather concisely written article on early ill fated attempts at oil drilling and how the discoveries of 2007 came about. PS: Acknowledge this work if you use it.
The range of possible consequences flowing from upstream oil and gas development are many. My research indicates that at least five are most promising in terms of what I call their risk fabric. In the first part of this article, I consider this gnawing risk fabric, and subsequently I propose public policy antidotes which other researchers may want to ruminate over.
Unlike the oil blessing postulate, the oil curse hypothesis has assumed popularity in the development discourse; and rightly so because there are several environmental and human right issues concerns from environmental pollution, oil spills and environmental damage, potential demise of the local economy, the so-called "Dutch disease", social and resource conflict, health and national security risks to potential resource-poverty traps. Each of these considered individually and then jointly excite a legitimately precautionary approach to upstream petroleum exploration and development.
This article provides a snapshot of Ghana's regulatory and institutional model for administering offshore petroleum interests. The key institutions are the Ministry of Energy (MoE) which sets energy policy; the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which engages in commercial operations for petroleum; the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) a maritime sector regulator and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The current legal framework for offshore oil and gas exploration and production operations in Ghana comprises a complex web global, regional and national legislation and soft law.