Rwanda 'likely to have new petroleum law in place by next year'

offshore rwanda-QR9iudjz0 sxc optA Cabinet meeting held in June 2013 approved the country’s upstream petroleum policy. (Image source: QR9iudjz0/sxc.hu)The Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) has revealed that the East African country is likely to have a law governing its upstream petroleum business by mid-2014

A petroleum sharing contract that federal government has been using for its contractual paperwork with companies involved in oil prospecting in Rwanda will also be revised to take out some of the basic instructions that will be stated in the new law, Ministry of Natural Resources said.

Michael Biryabarema, head of mines and geology at the RNRA, said, “We should be very optimistic that within this fiscal year the law should be out.”

A Cabinet meeting held in June 2013 approved the country’s upstream petroleum policy to set up priorities and the legal requirements that will govern the oil exploration sector.

The policies include principles such as ensuring environmental protection and that the government will invest money in exploration works, but provide incentives for private investors.

The upstream petroleum law will also provide a system of licensing for companies and strengthen the regulatory framework for quality assurance.

Biryabarema said that both the policy and the law governing upstream petroleum business are likely to open up Rwanda to more serious investors in the business.

“There are people who may not come in when you don’t have a long-term legal framework,” he said.

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