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Sunday, 29 July 2007

Learning from mistakes?

Daily Mail reports that Government is taking forward revision of the 1995 Petroleum Act because it is inadequate. The explorations are apparently now on hold until December 2007. The emphasis on getting a fair share is particularly interesting :

Mines and Mineral Development minister, Kalombo Mwansa, said Government was revising the 1995 Petroleum Act because it was inadequate. “We have the 1995 law which is not progressive. When we scrutinised it in accordance with the international structure, we felt it was not adequate,” Dr Mwansa said.

He said in an interview yesterday that Government wanted a law, which was in accordance with the international structure to benefit locals. Dr Mwansa said it was the trend in most countries, when oil and gas was discovered, to look at the provision of the law. “You have to look for the best law that could exploit that resource in the industry. Oil is so emotive that is why you have to ensure that you protect the interest of the locals,” he said. Dr Mwansa, who is also chairman of the committee on Petroleum, could however not give the period for the completion of revision of the law.

Three districts in which traces of oil and gas were confirmed, had been divided into 16 blocs measuring about 40 kilometres each. The districts are Zambezi, Kabompo and Chavuma.Meanwhile, the minister has reiterated the suspension of issuance of mining operating licences until end of December 2007. International companies from Britain, Russia and United States of America have shown interest in prospecting for oil and gas.


  1. My God, could it be common sense employed at last? I feel I must restrain myself and reserve judgement pending Mwansa's inevitable replacement for having spoken in such a way about foreign expropriation of Zambian resources. I feel confident that next week we will learn that what the government meant to say was, "We have oil? Well by all means please get that dirty stuff out of our pristine country as quickly as possible! How much do we owe you?"

  2. I fear that come Dec 2007 we'll find out that there was never any oil in the first place...its either incredible patience and common sense as you say or there's no oil! And the revision of the act is simply slowing things and making it all die away quietly!

  3. Perhaps I shouldn't have questioned the substance of the discovery...A Dow Jones sources seem more pointed. I suspect it must have been a follow-up interview.

    The Petroleum Exploration Committee together with government experts from the ministries of trade and industry, mines and minerals development as well as finance are revising the Petroleum, Act in line with international standards.

    “The current Petroleum Act is being revised after which oil exploration works will commence” said an official with the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. The amendments to the act are expected to be completed by the end of September this year after which they will be presented to the cabinet.


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