Sri Lankan government to present new Petroleum Resources Bill to parliament
The government of Sri Lanka is reportedly looking at enacting new legislation for the establishment of a Petroleum Development Authority and formulation of a National Policy on Upstream Petroleum Industry.
According to reports, the new Bill, which will replace the Petroleum Resources Act No. 26 of 2003, also provides for the regulation and management structure capturing the maximum economic value of domestic petroleum resources through modern exploration, development, production, and management practices in Sri Lanka.
The Petroleum Resources Bill has been published in the Gazette and will be presented to Parliament later this month, the Daily FT has reported.
The objective of the new legislation is to establish a Policy Advisory Committee to advise on formulation of a national policy for the upstream petroleum industry covering the exploration, development, production, and management of all petroleum resources in Sri Lanka, the news report stated.
It will also provide the legal framework to regulate all processes of the exploration, development, production, and management of all petroleum resources including the provision of operational guidelines, reports further noted.
Its other objectives, according to local media reports, are to establish an independent, efficient, and transparent regulatory framework in relation to the exploration, development, production, and management of petroleum resources in the country, manage the available petroleum resources in an equitable, safe, and environmentally sustainable manner and design, implement, monitor, and revise fiscal regimes that meet evolving economic needs of the country while providing fiscal stability to contractors.
The Petroleum Development Authority will be administered by a Board of Directors and will include five ex-officio members including the Director-General of the Authority who will be appointed by the Minister in charge of the subject with Cabinet approval, DG of the Public Utilities Commission, Chairman, Marine Environment Protection Authority as well as representatives of the three ministries including the Finance Ministry, reports added.
The Minister is to also appoint a Policy Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Authority comprising experts in the fields of industry, commerce, law and any other subject, to advise on formulating the National Policy on Upstream Petroleum Industry.
The government of Sri Lanka is committed to expanding its energy sector to meet with the growing demand. Sri Lanka is also fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given it’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country, thereby further expanding business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s energy sector. With the proposed legislation and the proposed oil exploration programme, foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in the sector.
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