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  • Government's plan to begin oil and gas exploration is on track with five companies having already made proposals to conduct analysis of exploration data.
  • Ambassador Peter King, Special Advisor to the Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, said the successful candidate would be named next week. A budget of US$100,000 has been provided for the initiative.
  • He was speaking at a meeting of Petroleum Company of Jamaica (PETCOM) dealers' at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday (Aug. 20).

Government’s plan to begin oil and gas exploration is on track with five companies having already made proposals to conduct analysis of exploration data.
Ambassador Peter King, Special Advisor to the Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, said the successful candidate would be named next week. A budget of US$100,000 has been provided for the initiative.
He was speaking at a meeting of Petroleum Company of Jamaica (PETCOM) dealers’ at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday (Aug. 20).
The Special Advisor told the dealers the Ministry had established an industry code of conduct to address inequalities and harmful practices in the petroleum sector.
He said the code was based on international best practices and would take into consideration, sensitivity to local operating conditions and the minimum standards for the commercial arrangements between marketing companies and dealers.
“The code will reflect principles of fair and free competition, transparent and fair business practices, non-disciplinary pricing and conditions of contract, and will introduce a procedure for dispute resolution based on the expeditious intervention of a strong referee, with industry specific knowledge,” Ambassador King said.
Also among the initiatives being worked on by the Ministry to improve conditions in the sector is the drafting of an Automotive and Marine Service Station (construction and operation) Standards to regulate receipt, storage, dispensing and maintenance procedures.
The Special Advisor informed that the Ministry was looking at certification procedures for service stations and attendants and compulsory registration with the relevant organisations, including the Ministry and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
In addition, he said, an Industrial Petroleum Safety Policy would be put in place, to establish the code of ethics under which the industry operated. The Ministry’s Petroleum Safety Inspectors are currently conducting audits on selected commercial facilities in relation to the storage of petroleum products. To date, ten parishes have been completed and it is expected that these audits will assist in the creation of the policy.
Pointing out that PETCOM was wholly Jamaican owned with a keen understanding of the country’s petroleum needs, the Ambassador commended the company for increasing its market share over the last four years and significantly contributing to the growth and development of the economy.

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