NEW ENTITY: Lawyer Shakwa Nyambe has proposed that an independent oil and gas regulator be established. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
NEW ENTITY: Lawyer Shakwa Nyambe has proposed that an independent oil and gas regulator be established. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Calls for oil regulator

New entity proposed
Government is being urged to create an independent oil and gas regulator instead of entrusting the responsibility to the mines ministry.
Ogone Tlhage
Oil and gas lawyer Shakwa Nyambe has called for the establishment of an oil and gas regulator, arguing that the ministry of mines should no longer bear that responsibility.

Nyambe made these comments following a recent oil and gas seminar in London, Britain.

“The establishment of an independent upstream oil and gas regulator would greatly benefit the country, as it would ensure impartiality and transparency in decision-making processes, thereby reducing the potential for conflicts of interest or direct political interference,” he said.

Benefits

A regulator would also better assist government in determining how to grant licences to prospective companies, Nyambe said.

“An upstream regulator will oversee the licensing and permitting process for oil and gas exploration and production activities. These will include evaluating applications, setting criteria for qualification and granting licences,” Nyambe said.

The regulator would also be responsible for monitoring compliance with Namibia’s environmental laws, he said.

“An independent upstream oil and gas regulator will also carry out other functions, which will include monitoring petroleum activities, technical and safety, compliance with laws, environmental protection and issuing guidelines or notices,” he said.

Regulated processes

Nyambe also highlighted the need for Namibia to introduce licence bid rounds for some of the acreage.

“These rounds would involve periodic and publicly announced opportunities for companies to bid for licences. This system allows the government to assess the financial and technical capabilities of potential investors, ensuring that only qualified and capable entities are granted licences. The process would be highly structured and regulated, with clear criteria and timelines, making it more difficult for unethical practices,” he explained.

And, in addition to implementing license bid rounds, he advised that “Namibia should also consider maintaining an open licensing system for some acreages. An open licensing system allows companies to apply for licenses at any time, rather than waiting for specific bid rounds. This flexibility can be beneficial for attracting continuous investment and for areas that may not attract significant interest during structured bid rounds.”

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Republikein 2024-06-24

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Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 332.59/OZ UP +0.57% | Copper US$ 4.43/lb UP +0.37% | Zinc US$ 2 858.80/T UP 0.18% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 86.03/BBP UP +1.55% | Platinum US$ 996.36/OZ UP +1.09%