Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    The Ghanaian petroleum sector and the environment
    Akyeampong, Justina ( 1998)
    Ghana spends a substantial portion of her foreign exchange earnings on the importation of crude oil. It is therefore important to the government that the country's petroleum potential be explored and if any finds are made, that such finds be produced speedily to save the country invaluable foreign exchange that goes into the importation of crude oil. There is also the hope that where such finds exceed local requirements, the excess would be exported to earn foreign exchange for development. The Ghanaian government is also aware that petroleum exploration and production have the potential to cause adverse environmental effects if the operations of the companies are not properly regulated and controlled. It is therefore necessary to appraise existing laws on pollution control to determine whether they are adequate to regulate pollution in the conduct of petroleum activities. Where the laws are inadequate, as this work has found to be the case in Ghana, the government need not wait until the legal regime is updated. Apart from the promulgation and enforcement of legislation, there are other legal techniques that may be employed to control environmental pollution in petroleum exploration and production areas. These are the criminal sanction technique, the regulatory or licensing technique, the negotiations and agreement technique and the property rights technique. This work reviews these techniques and the conditions needed for their successful operation, and assesses what each technique can contribute towards environmental protection in Ghana. The experiences of some countries which have employed these techniques are also reviewed. Based on this evaluation, the negotiations and agreement technique is recommended as the preferred option for Ghana. The form in which this technique should be adopted for implementation in Ghana is also recommended.