Date Hydrocarbons Law was passed2006
Expected date of inauguration for National Technological Institute of Hydrocarbons of Equatorial GuineaQ1 2016
Local content developmentAugust 13, 2015
As the oil and gas industry took off in Equatorial Guinea, the government needed a tool to ensure that international companies became active in the socioeconomic development of the country’s human resources. The newly appointed director of national content, Oscar Vicente García Berniko, speaks with TOGY about the government’s efforts to involve international companies in the public good.
What is the importance of the new local content regulation passed in 2014?
The new regulation, Ministerial Order 1/2014, is like a bible for the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy (MMIE). It allows the ministry to make the Hydrocarbons Law we passed in 2006 more effective not only for international companies, but also for local companies. The regulation is raising the standards for local companies and service providers by organising seminars and workshops dedicated to them, and that involves both the MMIE and country’s major operators. It is also monitoring how international companies implement the 2006 legislation. Now, the MMIE has more control of the corporate responsibility programmes of international companies called for by the 2006 law.
What are the challenges the MMIE has met with in implementing the law?
The first challenge is capacity building for local companies and service providers. We need to help local players learn how to structure their companies, how to manage accounting, how to take care of legal procedures – the basic operations of running a business. The second challenge is one that international companies must rise to and is an issue of trust. International companies need to fully trust local companies with their contracts. These challenges can be resolved through the MMIE’s promotion of communication between international companies, local companies and oilfield and support services providers.
How has the new law been received by local and international companies?
International companies feel they are under more pressure to do what the 2006 law says. Local companies are also aware that they need to raise their standards in order to compete effectively within the oil and gas industry. It takes time, a lot remains to be done.
What will be the role of the National Technological Institute of Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea in capacity building?
We hope the institute will be inaugurated in the first quarter of 2016. It is intended to develop capacity and train good technicians that can compete for positions in line with the full standards and requirements from any company or any human resources department. The most important thing is to co-operate with local content departments in the rest of the oil-producing countries in Africa. We are willing to meet our colleagues in neighbouring countries to exchange our experiences. The fact that some countries in Africa have been producing oil longer than Equatorial Guinea has will ultimately provide a benefit for us.