Petroleum Institutions

10. Other agencies

There are a number of other state agencies that are relevant to the petroleum sector. These include:

  • The health and safety ministry – which would normally work closely with the sector ministry and the environment ministry to formulate and enforce health, safety and environment (HSE) policies and standards and;

  • The labour and immigration ministry – which would issue work permits to expatriate workers of IOCs, and enforce the local content policies. It is important to note that labour and local content are highly charged issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Trade unions and labour groups are active in countries like Zambia, Ghana and South Africa. To avoid labour-related unrest governments should look to international institutions such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) for ‘best practice’ on labour policies;

  • The ministry of foreign affairs – which would deal with diplomatic relations with investor countries, including considerations for entry into bilateral investment treaties (BITs);

  • The ministry of national parks, wildlife, and tourism – assessments, audits and authorisations would normally be required if EI sector activities would affect the natural habitat of wildlife and lead to displacement, or affect areas of natural of cultural heritage (such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites);

  • the ministry for infrastructure – the EI sector operations themselves involve the development of infrastructure, and would also normally require development of associated infrastructure, such as a railway to transport minerals from a mine. Associated infrastructure is integral and lack of it or poor planning can lead to the death of a project or heavy losses for an investor, as was the case in the Rio Tinto coal project in Mozambique; and

  • the customs and excise tax authority (for imports and exports) – for tax exemptions and tax revenue management.