Comprehensive Assessment of Environmental Regulatory Systems Governing Upstream Petroleum Operations

Mr Derrick Sowa1

1The University  of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


Attempts to identify the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and challenges confronting environmental regulatory systems necessitate a comprehensive assessment of the entire environmental regulatory system. Using Ghana as a case study, this study presents the preliminary findings of a probe into the various components (i.e. regulatory mechanisms, regulatory entities and regulatory personnel) that constitute the regulatory system used to foster environmental protection in the country’s upstream petroleum industry. The study commences with a general overview of what regulatory systems are and delves deeper to explore the individual components; beginning with the relevant portions of environmental-related legal provisions that constitute the regulatory mechanisms. Following this, the regulatory entities and regulatory personnel are examined, focusing on the organizational hierarchies, specific legal mandates, jurisdictions, capacities and resources (i.e. human, financial and logistics). The assessment done in this study took the form of extensive analysis of pieces of information made available on the official websites of the regulatory entities; technical reports; peer-reviewed articles and legal documents. The pieces of information amassed from these data sources were supported by corresponding information obtained from face to face interviews with key actors in the industry.


I’m currently a PhD Candidate in the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

I hold a BSc. degree in Geomatic Engineering from the University of Science and Technology (KNUST, Ghana), and an MSc. degree in Harbor, Coastal and Offshore Engineering from Hohai University, China.

My research/career interest/focus is in the area of Environmental Policy and Regulatory Compliance.

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