What is the change? Ghana’s Petroleum Commission has said that it is conducting inspections of upstream oil and gas companies in the western region of the country.

What does the change mean? Upstream oil and gas companies in the western region, whether foreign or locally owned, should prepare for inspections as soon as this week. The Petroleum Commission said inspectors may wish to review hard-copy documents and focus on a number of areas, including contracts and procurement activities, work permits, succession planning, training, and the participation of local partners in company activities.

  • Implementation time frame: Between now and Friday.
  • Visas/permits affected: Inspectors may review any number of immigration-related documents, including work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies in the western region of Ghana’s upstream oil and gas industry.
  • Business impact: Businesses should be aware of the inspections and have protocols in place for receiving inspectors.

Background: The Petroleum Commission contacted companies operating in the oil and gas sector last week, saying it planned to increase inspections in the western region of the country’s upstream oil and gas industry. Inspections are already underway and are expected to continue at least through the end of the week. The commission said inspectors would visit both foreign-owned companies and their locally owned partners.

Inspections could focus on any number of areas, including: contracts and procurement activities; work permits, succession planning, localization and training; technology transfers from foreign companies to local partners; participation of local partners in the execution of contracts; research and development; financial and banking services; insurance policies; health and safety requirements; and operational performance.

BAL Analysis: The Petroleum Commission has grown increasingly strict in enforcing its immigration laws, as indicated both by the current inspections and notice provided to companies earlier this year that they must strictly comply with rules to develop succession plans for jobs held by foreign nationals. Companies in the upstream oil and gas industry, especially in the western region, should prepare for the likelihood of increased compliance activity in the near future.

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